Breast Reconstruction Surgery

Reconstructive Mammaplasty
Breast Reconstruction Surgery

Procedure overview

Restoring shape and symmetry

Breast reconstruction surgery is a highly advanced plastic surgery procedure responsible for helping countless women regain their confidence and live a normal life.

  • Have you had a mastectomy?
  • Have you had breast tissue removed for breast cancer?
  • Do you want to have matching, shapely breasts again?

After mastectomy, breast reconstruction surgery can restore your breasts’ contour, shape and size. It can be done at the same time as the cancer removal surgery or as a separate procedure sometime afterwards.

Breast reconstruction surgery involves re-forming the breast to its previous symmetry in terms of shape and volume. The procedure can be performed in multiple stages depending on the techniques used during breast reconstruction. Some of the most common techniques include breast implants/expanders or the use of the patient’s tissue.

At FNQ Plastic Surgery, we understand the emotional and physical toll that breast cancer and mastectomy can have on women. That’s why we are committed to providing compassionate care and support throughout your breast reconstruction journey. Our dedicated team of healthcare professionals will guide you through every step of the process, from consultation to recovery. We will work closely with you to ensure optimal results and help you regain your confidence and normalcy.

Table of Contents

Procedure FAQs

We understand that having surgery can be a big decision, so we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions for each surgical procedure to provide you with more information and help you make an informed decision.

  • What are your breast reconstruction procedures and techniques?

    Before coming in for a procedure, we will discuss your individual needs, requirements, and medical condition as well as any previous surgeries (if you had any). The procedure is performed under general anaesthesia and can take anywhere from 2 to 8 hours, based on the technique used.

    Multiple techniques are used for breast construction. Some of the most common ones are Implants, Tissue Flap and DIEP FLAP.

  • Breast implants or breast tissue expander?

    Using a breast implant for breast reconstruction usually involves stretching the existing skin with the help of a tissue expander. The tissue expander will go inside your body, creating space to insert an implant. Most patients are satisfied with the results of this technique.

  • What is the tissue flap technique (TRAM) in breast reconstruction surgery and how is it performed?

    The tissue flap technique involves the use of tissue from the back, abdomen, thighs, and bottom. The tissues will be used to reconstruct the breast. Taking out the abdominal tissue is known as the TRAM flap. Taking tissue from the back is called a Dorsi flap. Oftentimes, the extracted tissue is attached to the blood supply, known as tunnelling and pedicle procedure. In such a case, the flap has a better chance of survival.

    During the free flap procedure, the tissues are first disconnected and attached to a blood supply near a new location.

  • What is the DIEP Flap procedure in breast reconstruction surgery?

    Think of it as a newer version of the TRAM flap procedure. During DIEP Flap, the surgeon will surgically remove tissue from the lower belly. It will be shaped and attached to the chest to form a new breast. The surgeon will extract skin, fat, and blood vessels while leaving the underlying abdominal muscles intact. DIEP Flap has fewer long-term complications as compared to TRAM Flap. That is why it is a preferred choice for many.

  • What is the recovery after breast reconstruction surgery?

    Undergoing the trauma of breast cancer as well as an enduring mastectomy, can be a debilitating experience. The fact that you underwent breast reconstruction is commendable and is a sign that recovery is nearing completion. Some patients might be asked to stay in a hospital for a few days to monitor their condition closely.

    You might feel slight pain and discomfort for several days post-surgery. Some patients can easily walk around the house in about one to two days, while others might prefer bed rest for several days (those who have undergone complex procedures). In some cases, an IV drip and drains are used to get rid of fluid build-up.

    Delay the full level of activity till you are fully healed, and avoid returning to work until your surgeon gives you a go. Avoid exercising and lifting heavy weights till you recover and are able to move comfortably.

    Make sure to drink lots of water and eat healthily to nourish your body from within. Take all your medication on time and go for your follow-up appointments regularly.

  • What is the timeline for the final outcome of breast reconstruction surgery, and are the results permanent?

    It can take anywhere from 8 to 10 weeks for the swelling to subside. After that, you will be able to see how your breasts look. However, you need to be extremely patient as you might have to wait up to a year to see the final outcome of the surgery. The results of breast reconstruction surgery are permanent.

  • Will Medicare cover my breast reconstruction surgery?

    Breast reconstruction surgery after mastectomy is often a valid medical reason to undergo plastic surgery and is usually supported by Medicare and health insurance, depending on your level of coverage.

  • What are the steps to finding a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon for breast reconstruction surgery?

    Breast reconstruction is a complicated procedure and requires the expertise of a trained and experienced plastic surgeon. You need to find someone with years of experience performing the surgery. Follow these steps:

    • Get a medical referral from a GP or specialist
    • Do Internet research and read about skills and experience
    • Look at their online patient reviews

Anything we've missed?

If you have any further questions or concerns that we haven’t addressed in our FAQ section, please don’t hesitate to contact us – our team is always here to provide the information and support you need throughout your journey.

Risks

The information provided on this website is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice.

Surgical procedures carry inherent risks, and the specific risks and potential complications may vary depending on the procedure. It is important to consult with a qualified and experienced surgeon to discuss the risks, benefits, and potential outcomes of any surgical procedure. Individual results may vary.

For more detailed and specific information regarding the risks associated with a particular procedure, please contact our clinic directly to schedule a consultation with our skilled team of healthcare professionals.

Surgical Costs

Navigating Surgical Costs: Consultations, Insurance, and Financial Options

At FNQ Plastic Surgery, we work with you to navigate the cost of your desired procedure, taking into account the various factors that influence pricing, and offering flexible payment options to accommodate your needs.

Medical Consultations for Non-Cosmetic Procedures (skin cancers, hand surgery etc.)

  • Initial consultation: $280
  • Follow-ups: $85

Cosmetic Consultations (in person or virtual)

  • Initial consultation: $350
  • Follow-ups: $100

Children Consultations under 18 years

  • Initial consultation: $250
  • Follow-ups: $85

Terms

All prices include GST. You will be required to make a deposit of $100 to secure your booking. Your appointment will be confirmed and secured once paid. We accept Visa, Mastercard and American Express via electronic banking details over the phone.

Skin cancer

Payment for skin cancer/ skin lesion surgery is due (7) days prior to your surgery booking date.

Cosmetic surgery

To secure an appointment for cosmetic surgery, you are required to make a deposit as outlined below. The final payment is due to FNQ Plastic Surgery 2 weeks prior to your scheduled date. Please reference your surname and contact us once payment is complete.

Surgeon feeDeposit required

Up to $10,000$1,000
$10,000 – $20,000$2,000
$20,000 +$3,000

Payment options

  • Direct Deposit
  • Bank cheque made payable to FNQ Plastic Surgery (we do not accept personal cheques)
  • Major credit cards accepted – including AMEX
  • Cash

Refund policy

If you cancel or reschedule your procedure less than (7) days prior to your surgery date, you will be responsible to pay thirty percent (30%) of the total costs of the procedure (non-refundable and cannot be applied to a future procedure).

Average prices paid for cosmetic and plastic surgery are different across Australia. Prices and Hospital Costs vary for plastic surgery as every patient has slightly different anatomy and varying surgical needs. Your Price for surgery depends mostly on which surgeon, which hospital, the type of prosthesis and how long the surgery will take. It will also vary based on eligibility for Medicare and whether you are insured or uninsured.

A fully personalised quote for your plastic surgery procedure is available when you come for a confidential consultation.

Your quote as part of a fully informed financial consent will outline your specific:

  • Surgeon Fee
  • Hospital Costs based on theatre time and length of hospital stay
  • Anaesthetists Fee
  • Assistants Fee (if applicable)
  • Prosthesis, Implant fee and post-operative garment fee (if applicable)
  • Any Medicare codes that may be applicable to your surgery

Many patients want to know if Medicare will cover plastic surgery. Medicare will cover what is deemed essential reconstructive surgery and procedures that have associated Medicare item numbers listed in the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS).

Dr Sorensen and his team can help you understand if Medicare may cover your procedure. However, if you wish to look up a particular type of surgery and its item numbers, refer to the Medicare Benefits Schedule.

Medicare will not cover cosmetic surgery procedures – like a cosmetic breast augmentation.

If you meet the strict criteria, you may be eligible for a Medicare item number Breast Surgery, Tummy Surgery, and post weight loss Excess Skin removal, amongst many other procedures.

You can undertake your surgery as a self-funded (uninsured) patient, or you may be covered by your Private Health Fund. There are many private health funds, some more generous than others.

Your Private Health Fund may partly contribute to the cost of your surgery. If you have a valid medical referral and meet the specific criteria for a Medicare Item Number.

You must also have the right LEVEL of insurance cover – Gold, Silver or Bronze – for the type of surgery you want. You may have to delay surgery after initially joining a health fund – typically, a 12-month waiting period needs to be served before you can have surgery.
If you have private health insurance, it is your responsibility to check your level of cover for this procedure. If you are not covered for the procedure, you will be responsible for hospital fees. Below are listed questions you should ask your health fund:

  • Am I covered for the Cairns Private Hospital or Cairns Day Surgery?
  • Am I covered for the item number(s) listed on my quote?
  • Will I be covered if this surgery is combined with a cosmetic procedure that does not have an item number?
  • Do I have an excess to pay when I go to hospital? if so, how much is it?

Nearly all plastic surgeons now charge a GAP fee on top of what Medicare and Private Health Funds are willing to contribute for your surgery. Medicare rebates have been fixed and have not increased for years. This has resulted in few, if any, NO GAP Plastic surgeons willing to charge the standard Medicare fee and health fund rebate.

You may be able to get early access to your Superannuation Fund to pay for your life-changing surgery.

This will most likely apply to Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck), Breast Reduction, Body Contouring, Arm lift, Nose Surgery or Skin Reduction after significant weight loss or Bariatric Surgery.

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) will assess your Early Super Fund Access application for medical procedures that treat life-threatening illnesses or chronic pain. The final decision, however, will be made by your own Super Fund, as some funds will not allow withdrawal. Find out more by visiting the ATO website or contacting Supercare.

Financing for cosmetic & plastic surgery

Flexible Financing Solutions for Your Procedure

At FNQ Plastic Surgery, we’re dedicated to making your desired procedure more accessible. That’s why we’re proud to partner with leading Australian financial service Total Lifestyle Credit (TLC) to offer flexible financing solutions tailored to your needs.

TLC Logo

TLC provides personal loans designed for financing medical and lifestyle expenses. With competitive interest rates, flexible repayment terms, and a simple application process, TLC can help you easily finance your procedure. Visit TLC’s website for more information.

DISCLAIMER – Our Practice is NOT a credit provider. We do NOT receive any rebates or commissions from ANY banks or credit suppliers. All finance and credit providers are independent external companies. We provide NO financial advice. You will need to consider your own financial circumstances when deciding if finance is suitable for you.

At the heart of our practice is a deep commitment to patient care, ensuring each individual receives the utmost attention, safety, and satisfaction.

We strive to provide the best care possible for our patients. That’s why we offer a comprehensive range of resources on our Patient Care page, including information on patient registration, consultation and treatment, disclaimer information, and other vital resources. Please click the button below to access our Patient Care page and learn how we can assist you throughout your journey.

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