Breast Reconstruction Surgery post-mastectomy (usually after breast cancer treatment)
Our Breast Reconstruction Specialist Surgeon operates at accredited major hospitals in Melbourne using only experienced anaesthetists and a top team of surgical support staff.
Melbourne’s Specialist Reconstructive Surgeon
Dr Geoff Barnett is our Specialist Plastic Surgeon for Breast Reconstruction and is an expert at breast reconstruction techniques.
Autologous Breast Reconstruction (using your own tissue) is a popular and safe technique. Other surgical reconstructive techniques include using breast tissue expanders, breast implants, synthetic meshes and biologic matrices (like ADM).
Dr Barnett prefers using the BECKER expander/implant. Each patient’s needs are different and Dr Barnett will personalise a specific reconstruction surgery plan for you.
About Natural Tissue Breast Reconstruction
Your own tissue is used in this operation to reconstruct a new breast. Tissue is taken from the back or ‘Tummy Tuck‘ region and no synthetic prostheses or expanders are necessary. Natural tissue breast reconstruction surgery can either be performed at the time of mastectomy or as a delayed reconstruction when body healing is normal (i.e. after chemotherapy or radiotherapy has finished).
Your ‘new’ breast will be soft, with a natural curve, and of normal weight and body temperature. This new ‘normal’ body image has major psychological benefits compared to mastectomy. Confidence and self-esteem improves in all aspects of life, including wearing normal clothes, sports and sex life.
How is the operation performed?
- A flap of muscle, fat and skin, with its own blood supply, is transferred from either the back or lower abdomen.
- These are reliable methods with a low incidence of complications.
- You will be advised on the best method for your reconstruction.
- Operating time, when combined with mastectomy may take three to five hours.
The two techniques commonly used by Mr Geoff Barnett are:
- The Free T.R.A.M. Flap Technique – Using tissue from the tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) area
- The Latissimus Dorsi Added Fat Flap Technique – Using tissue from your back
Even though every effort will be taken to make the scars as inconspicuous as possible, they are the inevitable result of this procedure. One of the principal aims in this operation is to make the scars easily covered by your swimwear or lingerie.
How long will I be in hospital?
This procedure requires admission to hospital and general anaesthesia. Your hospital stay will depend on your overall health and the extent of the procedure, and may be up to five to seven days.
What happens during recovery period after the surgery?
- You may expect some temporary swelling and bruising, which may result in a slight asymmetry with the other breast.
- Other post-operative complications, such as delayed healing, infection or localised blood collections are uncommon.
- All potential complications will be discussed in detail prior to your operation.
What else needs to be done? Are there any additional procedures necessary?
Once the new breast has matured, nipple reconstruction and later colour tattooing can be done. Should your other breast require any adjustment, this can be best done in hospital with an overnight stay.
Support for Interstate and Overseas Patients
Please visit our Interstate and Overseas Patients page to find out how we can help you.
Next Steps on your Surgical Journey
How to Book your Initial Consultation
- Email us or Call on (03) 8849 1400 to arrange your surgeon consultation appointment
- A Referral from your GP or specialist is helpful but NOT essential – you can have a consultation without a GP Referral
- Book a consultation with your Surgeon by paying the $200 consultation fee
What to Bring to your Surgeon Consultation
- Bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices
- Take lots of notes and read the documents provided thoroughly
- You may need to undress for a physical exam so wear simple clothes
Want more information before scheduling your Surgeon consultation?
- Request more information about the procedure – call or contact us
- Book a Complimentary Nurse Consultation (FREE)
- Organise a phone call with Patient Advisor (FREE)
- Attend our Regular Practice Events and hear from our Breast Surgeons and their top support team (FREE)
- Organise a Skype call consultation with a Surgeon (available for Interstate patients)
- Speak with a past patient that has had the procedure – call or contact us
- Browse our Frequently Asked Questions including how to choose a Surgeon for your procedure
Please contact us using this form to arrange to book a consultation or to speak with our Patient Care Advisor.
Send an enquiry form today or phone (03) 8849 1444 and ask for Michelle (Hawthorn Clinic).