Breast Reconstruction Surgery

Breast Reconstruction surgery is the main focus of Dr Campbell-Lloyd’s practise at LOSA. Dr Campbell-Lloyd is one of the only surgeons in Queensland with the necessary training and experience to claim to be an expert in DIEP flap surgery, which is widely acknowledged to be the gold-standard in breast reconstruction.

For women who have experienced breast cancer, whether they have had a mastectomy or breast conserving treatment, there are a range of options to discuss. Some women choose to “go flat”, other women opt for rebuilding a breast using an implant or their own tissue. Some women are able to modify the breast to disguise the effects of cancer removal and radiotherapy. These are complex discussions which require time to allow for questions, and to ensure that whatever choice is made is the right choice for each patient. Dr Campbell-Lloyd is an internationally experienced breast reconstruction surgeon offering all forms of breast reconstruction including fat grafting.

Breast reconstruction can also help women with asymmetry or congenital differences, as well as women who have suffered complications after previous surgery (including ruptured breast implants, capsular contracture and malposition).

You will have a 1 hour initial consultation with Dr Campbell-Lloyd
at which you will:

  • Discuss your reconstructive options.
  • Be assessed by Dr Campbell-Lloyd, with our practice nurse.
  • Have pre-operative photographs taken.
  • Be referred for a planning CT scan of the abdomen (depending on your chosen reconstructive method).
  • Be provided with complete quotations for your surgery.

You will have a further 1 hour consultation (as part of your initial consultation fee) with Dr Campbell-Lloyd at which you will:

  • Have a chance to ask more questions, and thoroughly discuss your chosen reconstruction.
  • Be sized for a post-operative support garment by our practice nurse.
  • Have a chance to discuss the costs of your surgery with Dr Campbell-Lloyd.
  • Be consented for surgery by Dr Campbell-Lloyd.
  • Confirm your operation date at your chosen hospital.

Before your surgery you should;

  • Contact us if you have questions – you are welcome to call or email at any time.
  • Shower thoroughly and wash your hair (you won’t get a chance to do this for a few days post-operatively) before coming to hospital.
  • Pack a bag with any belongings you require during your hospital stay (you will have 3-5 days in hospital for most breast reconstructive surgery)
    – It’s best to pack clothing that can open at the front to avoid lifting your arms and allow ease of access to check wounds.
    – You will also need clothing with loose arms or without sleeves to accommodate for your drains
  • Plan ahead to ensure you have options in place for child care, time off work, and assistance at home.
  • Prepare to rest for the next 6 weeks!

Whilst in hospital:

  • Dr Campbell-Lloyd will visit each day whilst you are in hospital.
  • You will have drains, they can be in your breasts or tummy. They will remain insitu until Dr Campbell-Lloyd is satisfied the volume is low enough to be removed.
    – Depending on the drain output you may have to go home with one still in. If this is the case you will be educated prior to discharge of how to care for it. This shouldn’t be scary for you, and we will ensure that you have all the help you need before and after discharge.
  • In some cases you will have a small vacuum dressing on your breasts. The nursing staff will care for this for you.
    – If you are required to keep the dressing on when you are discharged from hospital then you will be educated on how to care for it.
  • You will require assistance with showering and dressing
    – What seems a simple task will become tiresome for the first 1-2 weeks.

When you are home:

  • Enjoy a daily shower
    – This will be tiring and you may still need some assistance. You won’t be able to wash your hair yourself so an appointment at a salon may help with this.
  • We suggest you walk around the house but we advise not to venture out for another week or so
  • You will need to take it easy when walking. It should be gentle with no bouncing or excessive upper body movement
  • Car seat belts will be uncomfortable, a cushion is a good idea to have handy for the car ride home
  • You must relax!
    – You will not have the energy to cook meals for example. It’s best to prepare beforehand to have meals already made in the freezer or to have extra help around the home
  • If you have children it’s best to prepare them that mum won’t be able to play or lift them for the first 6 weeks
  • Put your gym membership on hold! You won’t be needing this for a little while. We recommend 6 weeks before easing back into the exercise
  • Sorry, no swimming at the beach or river for a while. You cannot immerse yourself in water for a few weeks, this includes baths and spas.

You will have an appointment to see Dr Campbell-Lloyd and the practice nurse a few days after you have been discharged from hospital. At this appointment your wounds will be assessed and your dressings changed. It will be decided when you will need to come back for your next appointment – this can vary between patients and can be anywhere from 1 week to 4 weeks.

We offer breast reconstruction using your health fund’s “known GAP” scheme**. This includes DIEP (deep inferior epigastric perforator) flap reconstruction. This would not be possible without the extensive experience Dr Campbell-Lloyd has, which allows this procedure to be performed efficiently, and reliably. Dr Campbell-Lloyd often performs DIEP flap surgery with a colleague to further improve efficiency, and therefore safety. Most DIEP flaps will take between 5 and 8 hours. The costs incurred for a DIEP flap involving 2 surgeons are $1000 ($500 per surgeon) for the surgical procedure. For single surgeon procedures (eg. unilateral DIEP or tissue expander and implant reconstruction) the cost is $500.

Fat grafting to the breast is a frequently performed procedure in breast reconstruction, and there may be additional costs associated with this. Unfortunately, at this time there are no item numbers associated with fat grafting, although this is currently under review. However other item numbers may be used to ensure at least partial coverage when fat grafting is performed in association with other revisions including implant exchange, nipple reconstruction, flap modifications and breast reduction procedures (for symmetry). Please contact us for more information.

It is best to check your level of cover with your health fund. Below are some item numbers that are frequently used – these can be quoted to your health fund to check whether you would be covered for certain procedures.

 

Tissue expander and implant reconstruction:
45539  |  45542  |  45527

DIEP flap reconstruction:
45504  |  45505  |  45570  |  30405  |  45565
45562  |  45569  |  45554  |  48406  |  45564

**Please note: some health funds do not offer the known GAP scheme. In these cases larger out of pocket fees will be incurred.

Breast Reconstruction Surgery
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