Breast Reconstruction

Breast Reconstruction Surgery in Las Vegas, NV

Dr. Cambeiro is a board-certified plastic surgeon performing breast reconstruction surgery in Las Vegas, Nevada. If you live outside of the Las Vegas area, please contact us to learn more about our fly-in program.

female breast reconstruction las vegas and henderson with dr cambeiro

Most women who undergo mastectomy are medically appropriate for breast reconstruction. One may choose to undergo breast reconstruction at the same time that the breast is removed. The best candidates for immediate breast reconstruction, however, are women whose cancer, as far as can be determined, seems to have been eliminated at the time mastectomy.

Some women however would like to wait to have their breast reconstructed. Many women are not comfortable weighing all the options while they are struggling to cope with a diagnosis of cancer. Others simply do not want to have any more surgery than is absolutely necessary. Some breast reconstruction patients may be advised by their surgeons to wait, particularly if the breast is being rebuilt in a more complicated procedure using flaps of skin and underlying tissue.

Women with other health conditions, such as obesity, high blood pressure, or smoking, may also be advised to wait. Read more about what to expect before your surgery and during recovery.

Reconstruction of a breast that has been removed due to cancer or other disease is one of the most rewarding surgical procedures available today. New medical techniques and devices have made it possible to create a breast that can come close in form and appearance to matching a natural breast, either with a patient’s own tissue, or with a breast implant. Las Vegas breast reconstruction patients of Dr. Cambeiro have a variety of options.

Please keep in mind; post-mastectomy breast reconstruction is not a simple procedure. There are often many options to consider as you and Dr. Cambeiro explore what is best for you.

To see why Dr. Cambeiro’s qualifications, excellent service, and results make him the best breast reconstruction surgeon in Henderson and Las Vegas, NV, call us at (702) 734-4100 or request a meeting with us today.

How Breast Reconstruction Surgery is Performed

This Las Vegas cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery procedure is about helping women who have lost a breast to cancer to get their lives back on track while enjoying a very natural appearance. Dr. Cambeiro has performed breast reconstruction for a wide variety of women in Nevada and is also available for women who want to fly to his practice for surgery. Please contact us to learn more about our fly-in program.

  • The first stage of reconstruction, creation of the breast mound, is almost always performed using general anesthesia, so you will sleep during the entire operation.
  • Follow-up procedures may require only a local anesthesia, combined with a sedative to make you drowsy. You will be relaxed, but awake, and may feel some discomfort.
  • There are many options available in post-mastectomy reconstruction; you and Dr. Cambeiro should discuss the one that is best for you.

Following mastectomy, Dr. Cambeiro will insert a balloon expander beneath your skin and chest muscle. Through a tiny valve mechanism buried beneath the skin, he will periodically inject a salt-water solution to gradually fill the expander over several weeks or months.

  • After the skin over the breast area has stretched enough the, the expander may be removed in a second operation and a more permanent breast implant will be inserted. Some expanders are designed to be left in place as the final breast implant.
  • The nipple and the dark skin surrounding it, called the areola, are reconstructed in a subsequent procedure.
  • Some breast reconstruction patients do not require preliminary tissue expansion before receiving a breast implant. For these women, the surgeon will proceed with inserting an implant as the first step.

An alternative approach to breast implant reconstruction involves creation of a skin flap using tissue taken from other parts of the body, such as the back, abdomen, or buttocks.

  • In one type of flap surgery, the tissue remains attached to its original site (back or abdomen), retaining its blood supply. The flap, consisting of the skin, fat, and muscle with its blood supply, are tunneled beneath the skin to the chest, creating a pocket for a breast implant or, in some cases, creating the breast mound itself, without need for a breast implant.
  • Another flap technique uses tissue that is surgically removed from the abdomen, thighs, or buttocks and then transplanted to the chest by reconnecting the blood vessels to new ones in that region. This procedure requires the skills of a plastic surgeon, like Dr. Cambeiro, who is experienced in microvascular surgery as well.
  • Regardless of whether the tissue is tunneled beneath the skin on a pedicle or transplanted to the chest as a microvascular flap, this type of surgery is more complex than skin expansion.
  • Scars will be left at both the tissue donor site and at the reconstructed breast, and recovery will take longer than with an implant.
  • On the other hand, when the breast is reconstructed entirely with your own tissue, the results are generally more natural and there are no concerns about a silicone implant. In some cases, you may have the added benefit of an improved abdominal contour.

Most breast reconstruction involves a series of procedures that occur over time. Usually, the initial reconstructive operation is the most complex. Follow-up surgery may be required to replace a tissue expander with an implant or to reconstruct the nipple and the areola. Dr. Cambeiro will likely recommend an additional operation to enlarge, reduce, or lift the natural breast to match the reconstructed breast.

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Why Dr. Cambeiro?

  • voted one of Las Vegas' top plastic surgeons 15 years in row
  • Impressive Credentials: Mayo Clinic trained and Double-Board Certified
  • An Honest, caring approach with a dedication to patient safety and satisfaction

Your SurgiSpa Consultation Experience

You can begin talking about reconstruction as soon as you are diagnosed with cancer. Ideally, you will want your breast surgeon and Dr. Cambeiro to work together to develop a strategy that will put you in the best possible condition for breast reconstruction.

After evaluating your health, Dr. Cambeiro will explain which reconstructive options are most appropriate for your age, health, anatomy, tissues, and goals. Be sure to discuss your expectations frankly with Dr. Cambeiro and he will do the same in return. Dr. Cambeiro will discuss your options and the risks and limitations of each. Post-mastectomy reconstruction can improve your appearance and renew your self-confidence, but keep in mind that the desired result is improvement, not perfection.

Furthermore, Dr. Cambeiro will explain the anesthesia he will use during your breast reconstruction procedure. He will address the risks involved in the breast implant surgery as well as your expectations of the overall outcome. You will be given a cost estimate for your procedure. In most cases, health insurance policies will cover most or all of the cost of post-mastectomy breast reconstruction. Check your policy to make sure you are covered and to see if there are any limitations on what types of reconstruction are covered.

Your Second Office Visit

You will meet with Dr. Cambeiro approximately two weeks prior to your Las Vegas plastic surgery procedure, at which time any remaining questions you may have regarding the operation will be answered. You will have an opportunity to discuss and receive the following information:

You will receive a general physical examination to ensure that no new underlying medical problems exist that may interfere with the safety of the surgery. Any infections that you may have should be discussed with Dr. Cambeiro before your operative date.

  • Patients with high blood pressure must have their condition well controlled prior to breast implant or reconstruction surgery and should plan to take their blood pressure medication right up to the time of their operation.
  • Pre-operative digital photographs are taken so that you can see the improvement from your breast reconstruction surgery afterwards. You will be asked to sign a photographic consent prior to having any photographs taken. Pictures are usually taken 3 months after your procedure.

You will receive specific instructions on how to prepare for breast reconstruction surgery. The instructions will include guidelines on eating, drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding certain vitamins, iron tablets and certain medications.

  • If you smoke, you will be asked to stop for four weeks before and 4 after your operation, since smoking decreases blood circulation in to the skin and impedes healing.
  • You will receive specific instructions regarding the date and time of your breast implant procedure before leaving his office.
  • You will be instructed not to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your breast implant surgery.
  • Dr. Cambeiro will write prescriptions for post-operative antibiotics to decrease your risk of infection and a pain medication for post-operative pain relief.

A list of your medications will be reviewed and certain medications should be discontinued at least 2 weeks prior to the operation.

You will be asked to refrain from taking any medications or other substances which could potentially be the cause of surgical complications such as aspirin, NSAIDs and vitamin E. These medications interfere with the blood clotting mechanism and can cause bleeding complications

You will be asked to pay your surgical fee at your pre-operative visit. The fee is determined at the time of the consultation, and is different for every scenario or combination of areas treated.

  • Scheduling breast reconstruction surgery involves payment of a non-refundable deposit, as there are costs involved with preparing for the operation, and for holding operating room time.
  • You will be asked to sign a consent form for the surgical procedure and for board-certified anesthesia.

You will be asked to pre-arrange for somebody to drive you home from the surgery office after your surgery. You cannot operate motor vehicles after breast reconstruction surgery, and we will not place recently sedated patients in taxis for transport home. We can arrange for medical transport in the event you cannot find an escort. It is mandatory to have someone stay with you for at least 24 hours after surgery for your comfort and safety.

Types of Breast Reconstruction Implants

If Dr. Cambeiro recommends the use of a breast implant, you will want to discuss what type of breast implant should be used. A breast implant is a silicone shell filled with either silicone gel or a salt-water solution known as saline.

Due to concerns that there is insufficient information demonstrating the safety of silicone gel-filled breast implants, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that new gel-filled breast implants should be available only to women participating in approved studies. This currently includes women who already have tissue expanders, who choose immediate reconstruction after mastectomy, or who already have a gel-filled breast implant and need it replaced for medical reasons. Eventually, all patients with appropriate medical indications may have similar access to silicone gel-filled breast implants.

The alternative saline-filled breast implant, a silicone shell filled with salt water, continues to be available on an unrestricted basis, pending further FDA review. As more information becomes available, these FDA guidelines may change.

Your Surgery Day

Wear loose fitting clothing that will wash easily in the event they are soiled.

Leave all jewelry, contact lenses, or other valuables at home. Remove all body jewelry from pierced body parts the day of breast reconstruction surgery.

Your vital signs will be checked by Dr. Cambeiro's nurse before your operation begins.

Dr. Cambeiro will place skin markings on your abdomen to direct him during the procedure. You will meet with the anesthesiologist to review your medical history. The procedure will take two to five hours, depending on the amount of work required.

Breast Reconstruction Surgery Recovery

  • You are likely to feel tired and sore for a week or two after breast reconstruction. Most of your discomfort will be controlled by medication prescribed by Dr. Cambeiro.
  • Depending on the extent of your breast reconstruction surgery, you will probably be released from the hospital in two to five days. Many breast reconstruction options require a surgical drain to remove excess fluids from surgical sites immediately following the operation, but these are removed within the first week or two after breast implant surgery. Most stitches are removed in a week to ten days.
  • You should not drive until you have normal return of daily activity and are off all narcotic medications.
  • You should avoid strenuous activities such as bending, lifting, and sports for about three weeks. Drinking alcohol can lead to fluid retention and delays recovery.
  • During the first 24 hours your assigned caretaker will assist you in getting up to the bathroom, taking medications, and eating and drinking. During the first 12-24 hours you will stay on a liquid diet and advance yourself as tolerated.
  • You will probably feel tired and sore for a few days following your breast reconstruction surgery, but you will be up and about in 24-48 hours. Most of your discomfort can be controlled by medication.
  • Antibiotics are continued for five days after the procedure to lower the risk of infection.
breast reconstruction surgery in las vegas and henderson dr cambeiro
  • You should be up and walking on the morning following your breast implant surgery, and a light solid diet begun to the point of tolerance.
  • If you have a temperature over 99.5 degrees, chills or sweats, a markedly different degree of swelling between sides and/or increasing rather than decreasing pain—call the office immediately!
  • You should be able to return to work within a few days to week, depending on the level of activity required for your job.
  • Dr. Cambeiro will let you know when a good time is to start up your exercises and normal activities.
  • Showering is not permitted until all drains are removed.

Final Result of Breast Reconstruction

It may take you up to six weeks to recover from a combined mastectomy and breast reconstruction or from a flap reconstruction alone. If breast implants are used without flaps and reconstruction is done apart from the mastectomy, your recovery time may be less. Most scars will fade substantially over time, though it may take as long as one to two years, but they will never disappear entirely. The better the quality of your overall reconstruction, the less distracting you will find those scars. Follow Dr. Cambeiro’s advice on when to begin stretching exercises and normal activities. As a general rule, you will want to refrain from any overhead lifting, strenuous sports, and sexual activity for three to six weeks following reconstruction.

Breast reconstruction cannot restore normal sensation to your breast, but in time, some feeling may return. Chances are your reconstructed breast may feel firmer and look rounder or flatter than your natural breast. It may not have the same contour as your breast before mastectomy, nor will it exactly match your opposite breast. But these differences will be apparent only to you. For most mastectomy patients, breast reconstruction dramatically improves their appearance and quality of life following surgery.

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