If you are considering breast reconstruction surgery, it is normal to have questions about this process. At The Lett Center, we serve patients through Tennessee, including the Mt. Juliet and Lebanon areas. We are here to walk you through this process, and we want to answer all of your questions before the procedure begins.

If you are wondering if breast reconstruction surgery is right for you, take a look at some of the most common questions our patients have below. Then, feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have.

Common questions our patients ask about breast reconstruction include:

What is breast reconstruction surgery, and what does it entail?

Breast reconstruction surgery is a procedure that is performed when damage has been done to the breast tissue. In some cases, damage to the breast tissue takes place following a mastectomy for cancer. In other cases, a traumatic accident could lead to breast tissue damage. During the reconstruction process, a trained surgeon creates breast shapes using an artificial implant or a flap of tissue from another location on the body. In some cases, both methods may be used.

Why should I get breast reconstruction surgery?

There are several reasons why you may want to consider breast reconstruction surgery:

  • To boost your self-confidence and self-esteem. Changing your appearance by reconstructing your breast tissue may help improve how you see yourself.
  • You may notice that your clothes fit better after breast reconstruction surgery. You might even realize that you are more comfortable, particularly when you need to wear a bra.
  • You may be able to avoid the use of an external prosthesis if a trained surgeon can recreate your breast shape for you.

How much does breast reconstruction surgery cost?

It is difficult to say exactly how much breast reconstruction surgery will cost. It may depend on the type of insurance you have, as some insurance providers may pay for breast reconstruction surgery and specific situations. It also depends on how much reconstruction has to happen and the method used. It would be best if you met with your surgeon to discuss all options available to help you make the best decision.

Who is a good candidate for this procedure?

To undergo breast reconstruction surgery, you must be healthy enough to undergo anesthesia. A trained surgeon will talk to you about this before the procedure begins. Your heart and lungs need to be able to tolerate surgery. Furthermore, you need to be strong enough to complete the recovery process once the procedure is finished. Breast reconstruction is often as emotional as it is physical. You will need to have realistic goals for restoring your body as you may not look the same as you did before.

What are the risks of having this procedure done?

Any time a patient is put to sleep for surgery, there are risks. For example, some patients may have an allergic reaction to anesthesia. Other patients may develop an infection following the surgical procedure.

Other possible risks include:

  • Excess bleeding
  • Deep blood clots
  • Fluid build up in the breast
  • Swelling and pain
  • Scarring and wound healing issues
  • Recovery fatigue

Fortunately, there are strong medical safeguards in place to minimize the risk of these complications taking place. Finally, there is also a risk that you may not be totally satisfied with your breast reconstruction. We will work with you if you have questions or concerns about how your breasts look.

What are the benefits of getting the surgery done?

There are numerous benefits of going through breast reconstruction surgery. Your clothes may fit better, your self-esteem may improve, and you will probably feel more comfortable if you choose to wear a bra. The benefits will be different for every patient. They depend on what they hope to gain, even if it’s just a return to normalcy.

How long does breast reconstruction with expanders take?

If you are undergoing breast reconstruction surgery with expanders, you should expect the procedure to take a few hours. It takes the surgeon approximately one hour to complete the surgery on each side. At the same time, every procedure is different, and it may take more or less than an hour. Furthermore, it may take some time for patients to fall asleep and wake up from the procedure, adding to the total time of the operation.

What kind of breast implant is best for breast reconstruction?

Every patient is different, and there is no single “best” option out there. One is not necessarily better than the other, as both have their benefits and drawbacks. Your surgeon will talk with you about the benefits and drawbacks of silicone and saline breast implants before you make a decision. Some of the most popular types of implants are made from silicone. In particular, gummy bear implants often have a lower rupture rate and feel a lot like natural tissue. Saline implants provide a layer of security if you are worried about rupture, as the saltwater will reabsorb into the body. Either of these could be right for you, but you should talk about your goals with your surgeon.


woman holding breast implants for breast reconstruction surgery

What’s it like to have breast implants? Do they feel any different?

Everyone reacts differently to breast implants. Remember that there are multiple options available, and these options may feel different. For example, some people think silicone breast implants feel more like natural breast tissue than saline implants. The size and protrusion of the implant style will affect the way they feel too. You can figure out which breast implants are best for you. Some people can feel the difference, while other people may not.

Do the prices of breast implants depend on the size you get?

Typically not. The price of the surgery should be set regardless of the size of breast implants you get. At the same time, you need to think carefully about how big you want your breast implants to be.

What can you expect from a mastectomy?

There are several expectations you should have following a mastectomy. First, expect to have some degree of mild discomfort after the procedure. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications are often enough to treat the pain, but there may be some situations where stronger medications are required. You should also expect to feel some numbness around the procedure area for a short time after the surgery is finished. You may also experience some drainage from the site as your body heals following the procedure.

How does a double mastectomy affect your self-image?

Everyone reacts differently following a double mastectomy, and getting used to the person you see in the mirror may take some time. It is not unusual for people to struggle with self-confidence following a double mastectomy. Some individuals develop mental health issues that need to be treated by a mental health professional. If you are struggling with your self-image following a double mastectomy, there are options available. Most importantly, you should remember that you are not alone. Breast reconstruction surgery may help you improve yourself in this.

Can breasts be reconstructed after a mastectomy?

Yes, it is possible for breasts to be reconstructed following a mastectomy. There are numerous reasons why a mastectomy might be performed, and some people require mastectomies because of breast cancer. A plastic surgeon will do a detailed physical exam of the mastectomy location. Then, they will talk about the options with you. That way, you can make an educated decision regarding what is best for your individual situation and your healthcare.

What impact does breast reconstruction surgery have on your life?

Everyone responds the breast reconstruction surgery differently. The most important thing to remember is that this could dramatically impact your overall quality of life. You may like the person you see in the mirror just a bit better, and you may have a bit more self-confidence and self-esteem. Breast reconstruction surgery can also make you feel more comfortable because you may have an easier time getting into your clothes.

What are the Advantages of DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction?

One of the significant advantages of this procedure is that muscle tissue is fair. You will not have to worry about losing muscle tissue if you undergo this type of breast reconstruction procedure. Furthermore, there is also a lower risk of developing a hernia following this procedure.

Can belly fat be used for breast reconstruction?

Yes, it is possible to use excess belly fat for breast reconstruction. If fat transfer is something you are interested in, you should talk about this with your surgeon before the procedure. You may experience a slimmer waistline if belly fat is used to recreate your breast tissue.

How can I see what I would look like with breast implants?

If you are interested in seeing what you look like with breast implants, there are two options. One is to “try on” the actual implant inside of a bra. Trying it on will give you an idea of the size and weight, although it won’t look exactly the same as the end result. Another way is by using a computer program to render what a specific implant size would look like on your body. That way, you can guide your surgeon on how you want your breast implants to look.

The sooner you schedule an appointment, the faster you can decide if breast reconstruction surgery is the answer for you.

Contact The Lett Center in Tennessee with Additional Questions or to Request a Consultation
The Lett Center offers aesthetic and reconstructive cosmetic surgery at two convenient locations near Nashville. We invite you to request a consultation at either our Mt. Juliet or Lebanon locations to learn more about what you can expect during and after each procedure.