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Breast Reconstruction in Charleston, SC

Various issues can cause dramatic breast changes over the years. Mastectomy to treat breast cancer removes one or both breasts, while aspirations and removal of non-cancerous lumps and cysts create scarring and dimpling. Trauma may also result in unwanted breast changes. These issues can be remedied through breast reconstruction, which restores volume and shape of the breasts. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Brian G. Widenhouse offers breast reconstruction for patients who live in Charleston, Daniel Island, Mount Pleasant, Summerville and the surrounding communities in South Carolina.

What Is Breast Reconstruction?

Breast Reconstruction in Charleston, SC

Breast reconstruction is used to replace a woman’s breast after it has been removed due to cancer or another condition. Reconstruction may also be beneficial in achieving symmetry after lumpectomy or partial mastectomy. With modern techniques and technology, it is possible to create breasts that are closely similar in appearance to a woman’s natural breasts. For its ability to help with physical and psychological healing, we consider this one of the most rewarding procedures we offer at Port City Plastic Surgery.

How Much Does Breast Reconstruction Cost in Charleston?

Breast reconstruction surgeries are highly unique. Since the need often arises due to medical issues, insurance may cover your breast reconstruction. Check with your provider to verify coverage. If you have out of pocket costs, Port City Plastic Surgery accepts cash, check, and major credit cards. Financing options are available.

What To Expect After Breast Reconstruction?

Most breast reconstruction surgeries are not done on an outpatient basis. Expect to recover in the hospital for a few days before being discharged to return home. You’ll receive prescriptions for pain medication and antibiotics to facilitate healing. Your recovery period will greatly depend on the extent of the breast reconstruction surgery performed.

You may experience soreness and fatigue for about two weeks following the procedure. Any drains and sutures will be removed during this time. Dr. Widenhouse will monitor the healing process through follow-up visits, letting you know when it is safe to resume certain activities.

Will I Have Scars After Getting Breast Reconstruction?

Yes, there will be scars remaining after breast reconstruction surgery. Breast reconstruction is a deeply personal procedure, and Dr. Widenhouse strives to utilize efficient and delicate techniques to minimize scarring while rebuilding shapely, natural-looking breasts.

Breast Reconstruction in Charleston, SC

When Will I See The Results?

As swelling disappears, you will be able to fully visualize the new breasts created through breast reconstruction. It can take a few months for swelling to fully subside. Expect to view the results of this procedure in about six months.

What Are Possible Complications Of Breast Reconstruction?

The following complications may result from breast reconstruction:

  • Infection
  • Fluid accumulation in the breast, causing a mass
  • Hematoma
  • Blood clots
  • Implant rupture or extrusion
  • Scar tissue formation

How Long Will The Results Of Breast Reconstruction Last?

The results of breast reconstruction are long lasting, though this depends on a number of factors. The reconstructed breast(s) could be disrupted by cancer recurrence or the effects of aging and pregnancy. If breast implants are used in the reconstruction, there may be a need to replace the breast implant approximately a decade later, should implant complications arise.

Benefits of Breast Reconstruction

Undergoing breast reconstruction is a highly personal decision, the need for which often coming from difficult health struggles or trauma. The circumstances which first led to breast changes are quite trying alone, while the removal of a breast can make a woman feel less feminine in the midst of other health struggles. The breasts’ new appearance serves as a constant reminder of those battles.

Breast reconstruction offers the opportunity to restore one’s former bust line, providing a much-desired emotional boost for many women. Reconstruction technology allows Dr. Widenhouse to form natural-looking breasts, helping women regain confidence in their bodies and appearance.

Breast Reconstruction in Charleston, SC


Who Is The Ideal Candidate For Breast Reconstruction?

Breast Reconstruction in Charleston, SC

Breast reconstruction is not right for every woman who has lost a breast or whose breasts have sustained damage. Ideal candidates for breast reconstruction have sufficient tissue on the chest to facilitate reconstruction; luckily, modern breast reconstruction techniques are capable of working with limited breast tissue. Cancer patients considering breast reconstruction should have the procedure cleared with their oncologist, as cancer recurrence may be a concern.

Generally, ideal candidates for breast reconstruction are at a healthy weight, do not have high blood pressure, and do not smoke. In some cases, Dr. Widenhouse may find pre-surgical treatment necessary to strengthen chest tissue to the point it can support reconstruction.

What Do I Need To Do Before Breast Reconstruction?

Dr. Brian Widenhouse will work together with the surgeon performing your mastectomy to develop a plan tailored to your specific circumstances. Please contact him to discuss your options.

Fully discussing all your options for breast reconstruction is a vital step in the decision-making process. Some women desire to have their breast reconstruction performed immediately following their mastectomy. Other women want to wait to allow emotional readjustment after the stress of illness. Some women may initially decide against reconstruction altogether but later decide to pursue it. Dr. Widenhouse can perform breast reconstruction right away or at a later date. The timing is up to you and your doctors.

What Should I Expect On The Day Of My Breast Reconstruction?

Dr. Widenhouse performs breast reconstruction with tissue expansion and flap reconstruction procedures. Although some women can have a breast implant inserted immediately after their mastectomy, most require gradual tissue expansion to make room for placement of the implant. This procedure involves a surgery to insert a tissue expander beneath the skin and chest muscle. This surgery requires general anesthesia. The expander has a tiny valve that is implanted below the skin. Dr. Widenhouse injects saline solution through the valve to fill the expander over a period of several weeks, creating a suitable pocket for a breast implant. Then a second operation is performed to remove the expander and insert a breast implant. If desired, the nipple and areola can be reconstructed in a later procedure.

How Long Does It Take To Perform A Breast Reconstruction?

Each breast reconstruction is unique to the patient. The time it takes to complete the procedure will vary. Breast reconstruction usually takes anywhere from one to six hours to complete. Following surgery, patients are transferred to recovery where they will awake from IV sedation and rest before being transferred to a hospital room.


Breast Reconstruction FAQs

Is breast reconstruction major surgery?

Breast reconstruction surgery is a complex surgical procedure performed under general anesthesia. As with any major surgery involving anesthesia, there may be some risks involved with your procedure. To learn more about what you can expect during your breast reduction, we encourage you to come in for a private consultation with Dr. Widenhouse.

How long does it take to recover from reconstructive breast surgery?

How long it takes for you to recover from your breast reconstruction surgery depends on the type of breast reconstruction procedure you choose to receive. Most patients are able to make an initial recovery within about 10 to 14 days of their procedure and a full recovery within about eight weeks. Patients who receive breast implants without flaps may experience a shorter recovery period.

How painful is breast reconstruction surgery?

Your breast reconstruction procedure itself will not be very painful. This is because Dr. Widenhouse uses anesthesia throughout your breast reconstruction to ensure you remain as comfortable as possible throughout your surgery. Following your breast reconstruction procedure, you will likely experience swelling, bruising, and tenderness around the chest. Most patients are able to return to their normal daily activities including work and mild exercise within two weeks of surgery.

Can you sleep on your side after breast reconstruction?

Dr. Widenhouse and his team do not recommend sleeping on your side or your stomach following your breast reconstruction surgery. Laying on your back at a 45-degree angle will promote healthy healing and further reduce excess swelling around your chest. Dr. Widenhouse and his team will provide you with detailed post-operative care instructions with more tips for recovery prior to your breast reconstruction surgery.

Is breast reconstruction covered under insurance?

While insurance doesn’t typically cover cosmetic surgery procedures, we typically recommend patients contact their health insurance providers to ask about their coverage for breast reconstruction. In the event your health insurance does not cover part or all of your procedure, Dr. Widenhouse and his practice are happy to offer flexible financing options that allow you to pay for your procedure at your own pace.


Dr. Brian G. Widenhouse is passionately committed to reflecting your inner beauty. Using the latest and most advanced procedures for cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, our team offers full body plastic surgery, emphasizing overall health and wellness to the residents of Charleston, Daniel Island, Mount Pleasant, Summerville and the surrounding communities in South Carolina. Contact Port City Plastic Surgery today!