Reconstruction Resources at Runnels Center
Let us help you Bloom Again...
Reconstructions have come long way from the significant scarring once associated with breast removal for cancer.
New techniques now offer less pain, better shape and cleavage, with no deformity and faster recovery. Going from mastectomy to reconstruction using tissue expanders and gel implants, patients who are candidates for this procedure can achieve desired size in as little as 6 weeks.
We help hundreds of women each year regain their natural appearance after a mastectomy, lumpectomy or injury. So browse through these resources and please reach out to us with any questions or to schedule a personal consultation.
What to Expect: A Step-by-Step Guide
Step 1: Education
Breast Reconstructions can involve multiple procedures that are performed in stages. It can begin when the mastectomy is performed, which is why it is important for plastic surgeon to be on your cancer recovery team. Likewise, the procedure can also be performed on a different day. A reconstruction can be carried out on one or both breasts. If only reconstructing one breast, you may be advised to get a lift, augmentation or reduction on the healthy breast to help achieve symmetry with the reconstructed breast.
The two categories of breast reconstruction are an implant-based reconstruction, in which breast implants form the new shape of the reconstructed breast, or a flap reconstruction, where the patient’s own tissue is grafted from another part of the body to form the new breast mound. Dr. Runnels or Dr. North can help you choose the which option bests suits your body & lifestyle depending on the type of mastectomy and any cancer treatments you may be receiving.
Flap procedures can vary depending on the fat, skin, and muscle tissue being used. The donor tissue may come from your lower abdomen, buttocks, thighs, etc. The recovery period is longer than implant-based procedures but offers larger and softer breasts compared to implants.
Implant-based procedures usually entail implanting a tissue-expander first to stretch the skin enough that it will provide coverage and create a space for the silicone implants that help form the new breast shape. While it may provide an easier recovery than flap procedures, the reconstruction process for implant-based process can be more lengthy. Traditional saline tissue expansion typically requires several office visits over a 4-8 week period to allow the expander to gradually fill and expand the skin. The new AeroForm Tissue Expanders can cut that time to as little as 3-4 weeks and expansion can happen at home, on vacation–anywhere. Learn more here.
Step 2: Consultation
Your most valuable information resource is a personal consultation with our physicians: Dr. Runnels or Dr. North.
A consultation doesn’t take long, and with an expert’s opinion, you’ll be better able to understand the benefits, risks, and discover which implant options are best for your body and lifestyle.
Step 3: Surgery
Knowing what to expect before you go into surgery helps to make it a much smoother experience. Our certified, state-of-the-art surgery center provides all the technology of a hospital setting within a specially designed surgical facility. All procedures, from body contouring and breast enhancement to reconstructive surgery and facelifts, are performed at our Outpatient Surgery Center.
Our fully accredited Ambulatory Surgery Center features two surgery suites and four recovery beds, as well as its own entrance and waiting area. Patient confidentiality is of the utmost importance, and the Runnels Center allows for the privacy and ease of access that you won’t find in a traditional hospital or large plastic surgery group setting.
With today’s technology, anesthesia, and pain control, less invasive procedures are routinely performed as outpatient surgeries. Appropriate procedures for outpatient surgery are those whose post-operative care requirements can be easily managed at home.
Conveniently located in Central Mississippi’s Metro Jackson area, Runnels Center is less than five minutes from River Oaks Hospital, the Jackson airport and the major thoroughfares of I-55 and I-20. The Runnels Center provides transportation service from the airport for out-of-town patients and overnight accommodations where private duty nurses are available. The Clinic, Outpatient Surgery Center, and SKIN the Spa share a common location with separate entrances for confidentiality and comfort.
Pre-op Appointment: You will meet with Dr. Runnels or Dr. North and discuss the procedure details and pre-op preparation instructions, sign any consent forms, and receive any prescriptions to be filled after surgery. If the procedure is implant-based, now is a great time to confirm the Natrelle® implants you may have chosen. You can also use this time for any additional questions you may have.
Day of Surgery: We recommend that you wear loose-fitting and comfortable clothing that is easy to remove to make it easier for your post-surgery: zipper front or button-up shirts/tops, simple pants or bottoms with elastic waists, cotton socks and slip-on shoes. Avoid any of the following: jewelry, contact lenses, makeup, hair clips. If you have been given particular pre-op body cleaning instructions at your pre-op appointment, please follow them exactly.
The Procedure: Surgery times for Breast Reconstruction procedure vary, depending on if the procedure is the same day as the mastectomy, the incision type, the reconstruction method, whether or not implants or tissue-expanders are being placed, if tissue grafts are used, and personal circumstances. Expect 4 to 10 hours approximately for flap procedures, and about 2 to 4 hours for implants/tissue expander procedures. Dr. Runnels or Dr. North will be able to give you a better estimate during your pre-op appointment.
Support: We advise that you arrange for a close friend or family member to take you home after surgery and accompany you at home for a night or two. Having help around the house after any surgery makes a positive difference in rest and recovery.
Step 4: Recovery
As every patient and procedure is different, there is no set time for recovery. For implant-based reconstruction, recovery times average about 2 weeks, whereas flap reconstructions can be anywhere from 6 - 8 weeks approximately. Ask Dr. Runnels or Dr. North during consultation or at your pre-op appointment, so you know what to expect.
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