After battling cancer and undergoing a mastectomy, women want to regain a sense of normalcy and well-being, which can be gained through breast reconstruction. Breasts can be restored and enhanced through various techniques performed by Seattle area plastic surgeon, Dr. Marosan. One of the most successful is the BRAVA + AFT procedure, which is minimally invasive with no incisions or new scars. A BRAVA, or external expander, is worn like a bra over the breasts (if a lumpectomy was done) or over the chest wall from where the breast was removed to gently expand the breasts and or the skin to promote the growth of breast tissue to ready the breast for a fat transfer.
Fat transfer to the breast after a mastectomy and radiation treatment is especially beneficial for returning the tissues to natural softness from the scarred woody feel that radiation causes. Sometimes 4-6 sessions might be needed to return the breast to a normal shape and softness.
Afterwards, Dr. Marosan will use liposuction to remove fat from an area of the body with ample fat to be placed into the breasts. As part of the process, nipple reconstruction can be completed to reposition nipples and leave them with a natural look. When the entire procedure is complete, the breasts should appear and feel natural, giving women a restored sense of self-esteem. Depending on breast size to be reconstructed, this process might need to be repeated. The "new" breast not only feels natural, but skin sensation can return to the area.
The advantage of the fat transfer technique is that it avoids any visible scarring. A mastectomy scar is traumatic enough and any muscle flap reconstruction will create new scars in other areas of the body. As the saying goes: you have to rob Peter to pay Paul.
Things to Consider
The surgical planning for a breast reconstruction typically begins at the same time as the planning for the mastectomy. There are points to consider such as how soon the patient will have the reconstruction and what type of reconstruction technique is best per the surgical case. It will need to be decided whether implants or tissue grafts are used, what type (if any) nipple and areola reconstruction will be used, and other techniques that are specific to the patient’s circumstance. The general goal is to help the patient regain a normal appearance of the breasts as part of the final phase of breast cancer treatment.
"Labiaplasty and Thermiva - At 47 years old, I'd dealt with the discomfort of oversized labia for far too long. I met with Dr. Marosan and his staff and decided to do labiaplasty and then Thermiva. It has been a life-changer for me. Wearing underwear was ALWAYS uncomfortable, but going without was worse. It's amazing how removing a small part of your body makes such a difference. I'm now dressing with ease, and even started running. The entire team here is top-notch. I wholeheartedly recommend them to any woman thinking about labiaplasty."- P. / RealSelf / Mar 10, 2021
"I Booked my Surgery Date with Dr. Marosan - After breastfeeding, my breasts are a little saggy and deflated especially my upper pole. I also got fat pockets around my stomach, abdomen and back. I'm not able to wear clothing that requires a strapless bra and I haven't wear a bikini for years. With a push-up bra, I can easily hide all of these problems but I don't feel confident without my clothing. I have spent years reading reviews, looking at pictures, and doing my research here and finally I made my decision to have a surgery. I want to do a 360 vaser lipo to get rid all of my unwanted fats and transfer them to my breast in order to increase the upper pole fullness. I make a consultation with Dr. Marosan on 12/9. He answered all of my questions, went through the process with me, took pictures of me, and then use myTouchMD to draw the lines on my picture so I'm able to know what kind of results should I expect. I told Dr. Marosan that I'm obsessed with a tiny waist with muscle line and a flat stomach and showed him the picture of the results I was looking for. I arrived at 11.10 and left his office at 12.40 so you know it went really well. Actually before I came to his office, I already knew he is the best, I saw lots of good reviews and beautiful results here. Since I'm already in the area, I also booked a consultation with another doctor in Bellevue as well but there is nothing to compare of. I didn't have a chance to meet another doctor in person but with his assistant, I mean his assistant is nice but maybe because I already decided to go with Dr. Marosan from my deep heart, I didn't feel comfortable, so I only spend 20 minutes there and all I was thinking about was when can I get my quote from Dr. Marosan. I got my quote the next following day and made my deposit immediately to lock my surgery day in January. I just couldn't wait any longer. So doctor Marosan is the only doctor I saw before I made my decision, I just don't think it's necessary to see the other doctors because I believed him and my mind is at ease when I think about under the knife with his hand and his experience. I'll keep updated and hope to help anyone who is looking to do the same procedure as me."- N. / RealSelf / Dec 10, 2020
"Outstanding Experience with Entire Team - I had a great experience with Dr. Marosan and his entire team. Surgery is always difficult and they were with me and my family each step of the way For those concerned about safety protocols, Dr. Marosan has implemented them in a way which is seamless and still allows for human interaction. I would recommend Dr. Marosan's practice for any surgery you may be contemplating."- J. / RealSelf / Dec 08, 2020
"360 Lipo with BBL and Hip Fat Transfer - 42 years old, 5'8, 150lbs, 2 kids. I had a Tummy tuck about 4 years ago, and had some lipo done at the same time. I am fairly fit, and didn't have too much body fat. However, as I have gotten older, I have noticed more back fat, my "curves" have been slowly going away (I used to have an hourglass figure in my youth), and I had love handles I wanted to get rid of. I also had this "shelf" like thing from my Tummy Tuck scar that really annoyed me. I also had the "violin" deformity, or the hip dips that I wanted to fix. So I was really excited to get a BBL/hip aug and the 360 sculpting. I am also planning on getting a labiaplasty and Renuvion with lipo to my legs 2 weeks after my first procedure. I'll do a separate review for the labiaplasty. I went with Dr. Marosan, as I had a friend that went to him that was thrilled with her results. I have to say that I am SO happy that I went with him!! Dr. Marosan is so skilled at what he does. I wish I had done my tummy tuck with him 4 years ago. He is also really down to earth and funny, and I immediately felt comfortable with him. And his assistant, Sarah, and the admin, Marci, are great. I am currently 6 days post-op, so I will post some before pics and a little more info in my next review!"- M. / RealSelf / Nov 23, 2020
"Highly Recommend Dr. Marosan, MD - Dr. Marosan, MD came highly recommended and I am completely satisfied with the results of my surgery. I was apprehensive when I was diagnosed with gynecomastia; but Dr. Marosan was the right choice for me. From my initial consultation, surgery, and follow-up appointments have been flawless. Dr. Marosan and his entire staff are polite and professional."- J. / RealSelf / Aug 24, 2020
Surgical techniques vary and today, patients are getting more options that can match their personal preferences. It is important to find a highly specialized plastic surgeon to perform breast reconstruction and one who will work with the cancer surgeon to achieve a natural result.
Reconstruction With Implants
Breast implants are a common method used with a reconstruction procedure. When implants are being considered, the reconstruction process is usually performed in a multi-stage treatment session. A tissue expander is placed under the chest muscle and the skin during the mastectomy. This expander will be gradually filled with a saline solution to expand the muscle/skin and eventually replace it with an implant.
Flap procedures harvest skin and muscle tissue from donor sites and transfer it to the breast. This procedures are not performed by Dr. Marosan anymore. They are listed here for your benefit only, if you choose that route.These surgeries are done in a hospital setting under general anesthesia and might require several days stay in the hospital.. The surgeon may choose between one of the following common techniques:
- TRAM flap involves grafting skin and muscle tissues from the lower part of the abdomen.
- DIEP and SIEA flap graft tissue from the lower part of the abdomen, but harvests only the skin and fat tissues instead of muscles.
- Latissimus Dorsi flap uses skin and muscle tissues from the upper back.
- GAP flap uses skin, fat and muscle tissues from the buttocks area.
- TUG flap harvests skin, fat and muscle tissues from the inner thighs near the buttocks area.
- Autologous fat transfer (AFT) to the breast. This is the only one done by Dr. Marosan as an in office surgery under intravenous sedation only.
When a breast is surgically removed, the nipple and areola are not spared. To recreate this area, skin and muscle tissues are grafted and formed to look like a nipple while the areolar color is achieved by tattooing. This is done when the breast reconstruction has fully healed.
Breast reconstruction uses general anesthesia and the patient is often required to stay in a hospital if done simultaneously with the mastectomy. Patients who have flap surgeries sometimes stay up to 5 days for monitoring. There will be discomfort and pain within the first week. Temporary drain tubes and bandages are placed to assist in healing. It can be unnerving to go through a major body change; however, patients find it gratifying and relieving that they are able to once again look and feel normal as they start their new journey towards becoming a cancer survivor.
Fat grafting to the breast is done as an outpatient procedure under intravenous sedation only. No scars, no drains, no hospital stay.
Plan Your Procedure
- Average Cost
- $8,000 - $12,000
- Recovery Time
- Average Procedure Time
- 3-4 Hours
- Post-op Follow-up
- Next Day
- Procedure Recovery Location
Breast Reconstruction FAQs
With breast reconstruction, a plastic surgeon will work alongside the cancer surgeon and be primarily involved and responsible as it pertains to restoring the appearance. It is a highly specialized surgery so it is critical to choose a plastic surgeon that has years of successful experiences in this type of surgery.
If a patient knows she will want to restore her breasts with a reconstruction procedure, it is recommended that this process begins at the time as the mastectomy. During the breast removal portion, the tissue expanders can be put into place, which eliminates a new surgery. This ultimately decreases the risk for complications.
Because the breast is completely removed and a new one is formed, there will be a loss of sensation. Over time, there is a possibility that this sensation can be slowly regained. This is different for every patient. While some patients regain their sensitivity, there is no guarantee that this will be the case for everyone.