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5 questions To Ask Before Breast Reconstruction Surgery

Breast reconstruction surgery takes time and is not an ideal choice for every person. It can take four to six months to stretch the breast tissue enough to make room for an implant. As an alternative your surgeon can harvest tissue from another area of your body and transplant it to the chest wall. Before you decide on this surgery, there are five important questions you need to ask your plastic surgeon.


What Training and Experience Do You Have?

Make sure you check your plastic surgeon’s credentials prior to the surgery. You specifically need to look for a board certified surgeon who is trained in plastic and reconstructive surgery. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons offers a “find a surgeon” tool that makes this easy.

Dr. Rimma Finkel has made it her speciality to help women regain their confidence through reconstructive surgeries. She is double board certified in plastic surgery, and has several professional memberships including the American Academy of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, the American Association of Plastic Surgeons, the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Do You Have Before and After Photos I Can View?

If a plastic surgeon does not have a portfolio of prior breast reconstruction surgery patients, find one who does. Viewing his or her surgical work up close is the best way to see if you like the final results. Some surgeons go an extra step and have former patients who are willing to meet you in person and answer questions.

Dr. Finkel values the privacy of her patients. In order to protect their privacy before and after photos are not made available online. Schedule a consultation to view success stories and photos of previous surgeries.

Where is the Surgery Performed?

Most plastic surgeons offer two forms of anesthesia, IV sedation or general anesthesia. During your consultation, you’ll discuss the risks and benefits of each and decide which is best for you. This also dictates where the surgery takes place. With IV sedation, the surgery is often performed in a surgical office set up within your surgeon’s clinic. General anesthesia requires more monitoring equipment, so it’s usually performed in an outpatient surgery or hospital setting.

Dr. Finkel is available at many award winning hospitals throughout the Valley, click here to see the hospital locations.

What Are the Risks?

Any surgical procedure comes with risks. One of the biggest involves an allergic reaction to the anesthesia. If your prior surgeries occurred without problems, this generally is not going to be a concern. If you have had a reaction, you must let your plastic surgeon know so that arrangements can be made to make your breast reconstructive surgery as safe as possible.

Other risks include a loss of sensation in the skin and tissue over the breast, infection in the healing incisions, and blood loss during the surgery. Some over-the-counter medications and supplements, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and vitamin E, affect blood clotting and must be avoided a prior to your surgery.

What is the Recovery Like?

During your reconstruction recovery, to minimize swelling compression bandages are wrapped around the chest. Drains may also be placed within the surgery site to help fluids drain and will be in place for up to two weeks. It can take weeks for swelling to dissipate. To help with discomfort, prescription pain medications may be offered. Generally, you get back to your routine when you feel ready, but strenuous activities must be avoided for 6 to 12 weeks.