Complements Breast reconstruction: A way to regain peace of mind and confidence


By Emily Peterson, MD, reconstructive & cosmetic surgery, Mount Nittany Physician Group

It is not uncommon for breast cancer patients to experience changes in self-confidence due to the physical alterations that come with surgery. Some individuals anticipate that after undergoing surgery for breast cancer, they won’t feel comfortable in their skin again. However, this is not always the case. Some women find comfort in the option of reconstructive surgery. If you are struggling with changes brought about due to a single or double mastectomy or lumpectomy, breast reconstruction can help you regain your peace of mind and confidence in your appearance.

Reconstruction of the breast restores the breast's form and symmetry and provides a natural appearance. Breast reconstruction is different for every patient. The right course of action depends on whether the patient has had a breast or breast tissue removed due to the effects of cancer.

Reconstruction typically involves a number of procedures. The process can begin at the same time as your mastectomy or it may be best to delay the process until your body has had time to recover from the mastectomy and the effects of cancer treatment.

There are a couple breast reconstruction methods to consider. Skin-expansion reconstruction involves the insertion of a tissue expander beneath your chest muscle. Over the course of months, the expander is gradually filled, creating space beneath the skin for an implant to be inserted. Once the skin is sufficiently stretched, the expander will be removed, and a silicone or saline implant will be inserted during a second procedure.

A flap procedure uses donor muscle, fat, and skin from your abdomen or back to reconstruct the breast. There are a number of different types of flap procedures. Sometimes, these techniques can be used to form a complete breast. Other times, they will provide a base to accept a breast implant.

Careful monitoring of breast health is a key component of a successful recovery from breast reconstruction. Be sure to perform self-exams and schedule mammograms consistently.

As a reconstructive procedure, your insurance company will likely pick up some of the cost of your breast reconstruction. Depending on your particular provider, insurance may cover the majority or only a small portion of your costs. Our office staff will work with you to understand how much assistance your insurance company will provide.

Learn more about services offered at Mount Nittany Physician Group Reconstructive & Cosmetic Surgery, or schedule a consultation, by calling 814.231.7878 or visiting