Breast Reconstruction

Women who undergo a partial or full mastectomy have several options for breast reconstruction performed by Indiana board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Rebecca Garza. Dr. Garza specializes in both implant-based and autologous breast reconstruction. She has fellowship training in microsurgery with extensive experience performing free flap breast reconstructive procedures using the most advanced surgical techniques.

Dr. Garza has a special passion for breast reconstruction surgery, developing long-lasting relationships with her patients. She understands that her patients rely on her for accurate information and compassionate care at a particularly vulnerable moment in their lives. Dr. Garza guides patients through the breast reconstruction decision-making process so they’re comfortable with the choices they make.

What Are Your Breast Reconstruction Options?

If you choose to undergo breast reconstruction—and not all women do after a mastectomy or lumpectomy—you have choices regarding the timing and type of reconstruction procedure. Dr. Garza reviews these options thoroughly with her patients.

Timing of Surgery

Depending on your specific circumstances, you may have 2 options regarding the timing of your breast reconstruction surgery. Even though every patient is different and approaches to reconstruction vary, nearly every breast cancer survivor who is interested in breast reconstruction is a candidate.

Immediate Reconstruction

Some women choose to have reconstruction performed—or at least started with the use of a tissue expander—at the same time as their mastectomy. Some patients believe waking up from their mastectomy with a fully or partially reconstructed breast is beneficial. There is also reduced surgical and recovery time.

Delayed Reconstruction

Immediate reconstruction may not be an option for various reasons, and breast reconstruction surgery is scheduled weeks, months, or even years later.

What Types of Breast Reconstruction Are Offered?

Innovative surgical techniques developed during the past 10 to 15 years have greatly improved breast reconstruction surgery’s aesthetic results when performed by someone with extensive training and experience, such as Dr. Garza. She completed fellowship training in reconstructive microsurgery at the University of Chicago, where she then continued her practice as an Assistant Professor for 5 years before entering private practice. She has earned recognition for her excellent results and personalized patient care. Dr. Garza has also authored several peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on the topic of breast reconstruction.

Reconstruction Options

The types of breast reconstruction surgery performed by Dr. Garza include:

Oncoplastic Reconstruction

A lumpectomy—also called partial mastectomy—removes cancerous tissue and a rim of healthy tissue called a margin while preserving most of the breast. An oncoplastic reconstruction after a lumpectomy restores the form of the breast, and Dr. Garza often performs surgery on the healthy breast to create symmetry. These procedures are typically either breast lifts or breast reductions, but they can also include fat grafting, breast implants, or using flaps of tissue from the side of the body near the breast or the upper back.

Techniques used after mastectomy include:

Implant Reconstruction

Many women choose to have breast reconstruction using breast implants. Dr. Garza can sometimes perform a single-stage reconstruction at the time of the mastectomy, a technique called “direct-to-implant” reconstruction. Performing the procedure in 2 stages is another option, which involves inserting a device called a tissue expander during the mastectomy and then replacing the expander with an implant in a subsequent surgery. Tissue expanders are empty implants that are gradually inflated over time with saline.

If you choose implant reconstruction, Dr. Garza will discuss your breast implant options, which include either saline or silicone gel implants. She may also use purified fat from another part of your body to enhance the results, which is a technique called fat grafting. Even though implants can be placed in front of or behind the pectoral (chest) muscle, Dr. Garza often prefers placing the implant in front of the muscle because she believes it produces results that look and move more naturally and involves less post-operative discomfort.

Autologous Flap Reconstruction

The word autologous means using a patient’s own tissue or fat for reconstruction. The most common autologous flap technique for breast reconstruction uses tissue from the low abdomen (called the “DIEP flap” technique), but Dr. Garza may use tissue from the back, buttocks, or thighs, as well. Flap reconstruction can be performed at the time of mastectomy (immediate reconstruction), after using a tissue expander or implant (delayed-immediate reconstruction), or months or years later (delayed reconstruction).

Using a patient’s own tissue for reconstruction creates a very natural look and feel with durable results. It’s an especially useful technique for women who underwent implant reconstruction and experienced complications due to infection, trouble healing, or radiation treatment.

Dr. Galante and Dr. Garza

Welcome to Our Practice

Board-certified plastic surgeons Dr. Rebecca Garza and Dr. Gus Galante have established a plastic surgery practice dedicated to providing personalized care that gives you the confidence to make educated decisions about your surgery. Together with a hand-selected team of professionals who share our passion for patient care, we offer a range of surgical procedures designed to help you look and feel your best.

Impeccable Credentials

Both Dr. Garza and Dr. Galante are fellowship-trained plastic surgeons at the forefront of the aesthetic surgery field. They are each active in professional associations and have given back to the community by donating their time and services to local charity organizations.

Dr Galante & Dr. Garza's credentials Dr Galante & Dr. Garza's credentials

How Long Is Recovery After Breast Reconstruction?

The recovery process following breast reconstruction surgery varies according to the extent of the procedure, the technique used, and how quickly a person naturally heals following physical trauma. That said, you can expect to be sore for at least 2 weeks following implant-based reconstruction and a bit longer after an autologous tissue procedure.

Dr. Garza thoroughly discusses what to expect during the recovery, how long before you can resume your normal level of activity, and post-op instructions that you should follow.

How Much Does Breast Reconstruction Cost?

The cost of breast reconstruction is covered by most health insurance plans. A federal law passed in 1998 requires group health insurance plans to cover reconstructive surgery regardless of the technique or timing of the surgery. Medicare also covers reconstruction surgery.

Interested in speaking with Dr. Garza about Breast Reconstruction?  If so, for a faster response please call us here:

Community Healthcare System
Community Care Network, Inc.
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
9116 Columbia Ave.
Munster, IN 46321
Phone: 219-703-2423

Get in Touch

Many breast cancer patients are referred to Dr. Garza by their breast cancer physicians. If you want to discuss your breast reconstruction options with Dr. Garza and live in Indiana or the Chicagoland area, request a consultation by calling Dr. Garza’s reconstructive office at 219-703-2423 to schedule an appointment.

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