When testing positive for the BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 gene mutation, many women today are being proactive by opting for mastectomies to reduce their risks for developing breast and ovarian cancer. Our board-certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon Dr. Ned Snyder IV would like to help you if you are a woman facing a mastectomy because of BRCA's mutated tumor suppressor genes. Our team at Breast and Body Austin can do this with the creation of new breasts right after the mastectomy to dramatically improve self-image, self-confidence, and quality of life. With an immediate breast reconstruction, you will not have to see your body without breasts.
If you have recently tested positive for the BRCA 1 or 2 gene mutation, we invite you to the Breast and Body Center of Austin to meet Dr. Snyder. These well-respected plastic surgeons can educate you on the range of options available. They are highly skilled in a variety of techniques, such as an implant-based, autologous tissue, or skin and nipple sparing reconstructive surgery. During a consultation in one of our Austin area offices, we can evaluate your case to see which procedure will suit your needs. There are many options, including a DIEP flap and implant-based reconstruction following prophylactic mastectomies. Call to schedule your appointment with Dr. Snyder to find out which reconstructive technique is best for you.
At Breast and Body Center of Austin, we offer women the option of having an immediate or delayed breast reconstruction. We will accept a patient wants to have a double procedure or has already had a preventative mastectomy but did not go through a reconstructive process. This is an inpatient procedure that takes 1 – 6+ hours under a general anesthesia. This does not include the time it takes your general surgeon to perform your mastectomy.
Breast reconstruction is not a one-size-fits-all type of surgical procedure. Each woman has her own unique treatment plan tailored for her specific needs. Dr. Snyder will help you select the right treatment plan based on your body shape, general health, medical history, and aesthetic goals. We will also discuss with your general surgeon if you will qualify for a nipple-sparring mastectomy or if you will have a bilateral reconstruction procedure.
We take great pride in educating our patients on how to care for their reconstructed breast after they leave the hospital to recover. The amount of your recovery time will depend on what type of breast reconstruction you have and your overall health. We would like to see you 7 days after your discharge for a follow-up appointment. At home, you will need to have a caregiver who can help you with personal hygiene, dressing, managing your drains, assisting with incision care, and much more until you are able to do it yourself. Heavy lifting (more than 10 lbs.) is prohibited until cleared by Dr. Snyder. The most important things to look for during recovery are signs of infection, high fever, and incisions that are warm or sensitive to the touch. If you experience any of these symptoms or the pain medication is not working for you, please call our office to be seen.
Recovery periods are dependent on what type of reconstruction you have at Breast and Body Center of Austin. Keep in mind that it may take weeks or months to recover as this can be a very slow healing process. We will be here to help you every step of the way.
Plan Your Procedure
- Recovery Time
- 4 – 6 Weeks
- Average Procedure Time
- 1 – 6 Hours
- Post-op Follow-up
- 7 days
- Procedure Recovery Location
BRCA Gene FAQs
Should I get tested?
Yes. You can have a blood test to have your DNA analyzed for the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 gene mutations. These mutations, which deny tumor suppressor genes to develop, increase your chances of developing certain breast and ovarian cancers. BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 gene mutations tend to run in families and cancer may appear earlier in these women. Deciding to have a mastectomy, even as a young adult, can be a life-saving decision to prevent the development of breast cancer.
Can I have double surgeries?
If you decide to have a mastectomy to have a better chance at preventing the development of cancer in your breast tissue, you may also decide to have a breast reconstruction at the same time. If you choose to have a reconstruction at Breast and Body Center of Austin, our board-certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon Dr. Snyder can communicate with your medical team. We can work in tandem with your general surgeon on what is the best option for your case.
Can I wait?
If you test positive for the BRCA 1 or 2 gene mutation, you will need to make a decision on how you want to proceed and protect yourself from a high risk of breast cancer. This does not mean you already have cancer. This mastectomy is seen as a preventative measure for women who are at high-risk for breast and ovarian cancers. You will have time to find a team of doctors, like Dr. Snyder, to help you select the right surgeries (general and cosmetic) to have so you can decrease your chances of developing breast cancer.