Breast Reconstruction in Baltimore, Maryland
If you have lost a breast due to cancer or another condition, breast reconstruction can do more than restore your appearance. For many women, this is an important part of their recovery. Regaining a more normal breast shape, size and symmetry can improve your confidence and quality of life, as you are free from the disfiguring effects of cancer and mastectomy.
A Personal Approach to Breast Reconstruction
We understand the unique circumstances that have led you to seek a plastic surgeon’s help and promise to treat you as a partner in your breast reconstruction process.
While facilitating your recovery after breast cancer and mastectomy is our priority, our surgeons aim to recreate an aesthetically pleasing, symmetrical, and natural looking breast that closely matches your opposite breast shape and size.
Your plastic surgeon at BELECARA will essentially become part of your cancer treatment team, and he will develop a close working relationship with your cancer surgeon as well as any other physicians involved in your care.
Choosing a Breast Reconstruction Technique
Recent advancements in breast reconstruction techniques have expanded the options you have to restore your breast contour following mastectomy. Many of our patients choose tissue expander & breast implant reconstruction, while others prefer a method that uses their own natural tissue. Which one you choose is entirely personal.
Prior to surgery, your surgeon will discuss the various techniques, explain the advantages and drawbacks of each as they apply to your unique situation, and prepare a plan to determine which option best fits your needs and desires.
What is Involved in Breast Reconstruction Surgery?
Breast reconstruction is a highly individualized procedure, and the surgical process varies widely from patient to patient, depending on the technique used, the desired outcome, and whether or not reconstruction is performed at the same time as mastectomy.
The surgery can take from 1 to 6 hours, depending on the option chosen. Most breast reconstruction involves more than one procedure, with the first procedure usually taking the most time. Because safety is our first concern, we always work with board-certified anesthesiologists to ensure that your surgery is as safe as possible.
How Long Does Recovery Take?
Just as the time and complexity of surgery can vary, the recovery process will be different depending on the technique used, as well as your general overall health at the time of reconstruction. Typically, flap procedures require more time in the hospital than tissue expansion procedures, and those involving incisions into the abdominal area will require the longest recovery. You can expect to stay in the hospital for 2-5 days after your surgery.
It may take up to 6 weeks to recover from a combined mastectomy and reconstruction, while a delayed reconstruction using only implants will require considerably less recovery time.
Nipple Tattooing & Areola Reconstruction
Nipple/areolar tattooing is the final stage of the breast reconstruction process, and takes place after you have healed from your prior surgeries. This relatively simple in-office treatment is an important step in helping your recreated breast truly feel like your own.
The procedure takes about 1 hour, performed by our specially trained permanent makeup tattoo artist. She works carefully to recreate a nipple/areola appearance that looks natural and proportional to your new breast shape and size, artistically creating a three-dimensional appearance to the area. She can match the pigments to those of your previous nipple and areola, or apply a darker or lighter shade than you had before, if you prefer.
While the tattooing procedure is typically not painful, we can provide a local anesthetic to keep you as comfortable as possible. The area will be sensitive and irritated for approximately 1 week after treatment, and will initially appear darker than your chosen pigment. Your skin will heal to the desired color within about 3 weeks.
Will Insurance Cover Breast Reconstruction?
If your health insurance plan covers mastectomy, it will also cover breast reconstruction. With few exceptions, health insurance companies in the U.S. are required to include breast reconstruction coverage in their mastectomy benefits, including the cost of implants. Maryland state law also mandates that insurance companies cover breast reconstruction after mastectomy, as well as opposite-breast surgery when necessary. Our office will work with your insurance company to determine the scope of your benefits.
Meet Our Leaders in Breast Reconstruction Surgery
Our Baltimore breast specialists, Dr. Larry Lickstein and Dr. Michael Cohen, are board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and each have over 20 years of experience in aesthetic breast surgery and breast reconstruction. Dr. Cohen is also trained and experienced in vascular microsurgery, which is require for certain breast reconstruction techniques, such as the DIEP Flap method.
Dr. Larry Lickstein
Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Larry Lickstein is known among his patients and colleagues for his surgical artistry and meticulous attention to detail. In a caring and supportive environment, Dr. Lickstein guides his patients through the breast reconstruction process of rebuilding and restoring the contour and natural appearance of a woman’s breast.
“Thank you so much for your dedicated, professional care and support during my recent surgeries to restore my body after a mastectomy. The cosmetic result is outstanding! Your surgical skills have brought me a long way from that numbing day when I first heard ‘I am sorry, but you have cancer.’ I am grateful that there are professionals and administrative staff like those in your office who are selfless and generous in providing patient care.” – Breast Reconstruction Patient
Read more patient reviews
Dr. Michael Cohen
Focused on excellence, board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Cohen is a leader in creating natural and beautiful results. His compassion and care put his patients at ease as he guides them every step of the way through the breast reconstruction process. His empathy, artistic talent and technical skills for creating beautiful results puts Dr. Cohen at the top of his field.
“I want to thank you, Dr. Cohen. You are an artist! When you are diagnosed with cancer, your defenses go. It’s so important to have a sensitive and conscientious doctor. You were perfect!
“ – Breast Reconstruction PatientRead more patient reviews
Dr. Cohen has been consistently recognized as one of the Top Doctors for breast surgery by Baltimore Magazine. He has also been chosen as a LEAD surgeon in Mentor’s program for Leadership, Experience, and Development in Breast Augmentation for the 7th consecutive year.
If you are researching your options for breast reconstruction in Maryland, we invite you to contact us to schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Lickstein or Dr. Cohen.
**NOTE: The specific risks and the suitability of this procedure for any given individual can only be determined through a consultation with the plastic surgeon.
We invite you to call BELECARA at 410.296.0414 to schedule your personal cosmetic consultation today.