Breast Reconstruction in Portland, OR

What is breast reconstruction?

Women in Hood River, Portland, and the surrounding areas who have had a mastectomy or lumpectomy; are suffering from any abnormalities or defects like missing nipples or chest muscles, or are looking for corrective surgery due to poor results from a prior surgery now have an option with breast reconstruction.

There are three options for the procedure:

  • Immediate reconstruction: When you have enough breast tissue to support an implant.
  • Tissue Expander Reconstruction: When tissue increase is required with the use of a soft implant over two to three months.
  • Flap Reconstruction: Which uses tissue from your abdomen or back since you require continued radiation. Usually, the areola and nipple are reconstructed using medical tattooing.

Am I a good candidate?

You may be an ideal candidate for breast reconstruction if you have been coping well with your diagnosis and treatment and do not have any additional illnesses that may impair your healing. You must also have realistic goals for restoring your body image and a positive outlook. Lastly, this is an individualized procedure and you must be ready to do it for yourself and not for anyone else!

Many women undergo breast reconstruction to help restore their feeling of femininity or help with their self-confidence. Others believe reconstruction will give them a sense of well-being. Whatever the reason, breast reconstruction is a private and individual choice.

Breast Reconstruction FAQs

Can I sleep on my side after breast reconstruction?

It is not recommended to sleep on your side after breast reconstruction, rather to lay elevated and on your back. Depending on your rate of recovery, Dr. Bohley will instruct you on when it is safe to sleep on your side again.

How difficult is the recovery from DIEP flap surgery?

Recovery from DIEP flap surgery takes several weeks, and can feel worse than surgeries that only affect one surgical site.

Can you have reconstruction after breast radiation?

Although radiation therapy leads to increased risk of complication after breast reconstruction, it is still successful in most cases, especially when the patients own tissue is used, rather than an implant.

Do I need to wear a bra after breast reconstruction?

Depending on the type of reconstructive surgery performed, we provide patients with a surgical bra to help reduce swelling and ensure natural-looking results.

Does breast reconstruction look natural?

When performed by a qualified, experienced reconstructive surgeon like Dr. Bohley, reconstructive surgery can provide natural results through several different techniques.

What should I expect during recovery from breast reconstruction?

Post-surgery, you will be wearing a support bra to help minimize swelling. A pain pump may be used for narcotic requirements. It will take several weeks for the healing process and you must consult Dr. Bohley to know your individual recovery period for resuming normal activities.

Depending on the type of reconstruction you have undergone, you may be spending most of the first week laying or sitting down. After the second or third day, you should be able to walk without assistance, which is recommended to encourage circulation in the legs. In the early stages of recovery, you will be seeing Dr. Bohley weekly until all of the drains are removed.

During recovery, your breasts may seem larger due to swelling, but this will subside over time. Wounds will often feel itchy as they heal, but patients should avoid scratching them. Scars will take one year to fully mature, and any treatments to help minimize the appearance of scars should be discussed with Dr. Bohley.

What are my reconstruction results like?

The final results of your surgery will help lessen the emotional and physical impact of your mastectomy. With time, some sensation may return to your breasts and there will be an improvement in the scarring as well. In some instances, you may require additional surgery to achieve the desired results. The key to the success of your surgery is to follow Dr. Bohley’s advice as to caring for your incisions and careful monitoring of your breasts for long-term health. Feel free to contact our office if you have any questions!