Breast Cancer Reconstruction in Washington DC

As a cancer survivor, you have persevered through difficult times, from cancer surgery to chemotherapy and radiation.  Restoring your body back to whole, and looking better than how you started, is the “silver lining” of breast cancer care and Dr. Rad’s focus towards that goal is you. Dr. Rad is expert in the full range of breast reconstructive surgeries, from implants to flap procedures including microvascular “perforator flap” techniques such as the DIEP flap, TUG flap SGAP “Love Handle” flap, and TDAP flap.  As a member of the plastic surgery faculty at Johns Hopkins since 2009, Dr. Rad pioneered the most technically difficult operations such as the “Gluteal Artery Perforator” (GAP) flap, aka “Love Handle” flap for which he and his colleagues published the first clinical series. Dr. Rad is the only surgeon in the Washington DC and northern Virginia areas offering the SGAP “Love Handle” technique.

When it comes to breast cancer reconstruction the most advanced surgical approaches are not the only aspect of world class care.  Patients’ comfort before and after surgery are of equal importance and Dr. Rad’s approach to recovery follows the most advanced “Enhanced Recovery After Surgery” (ERAS) protocols developed by anesthesiologists. Combined with his state-of-the-art surgical techniques Dr. Rad’s patients are able to return to their lives feeling whole again.

Procedure Cost

WHAT IS THE COST OF RECONSTRUCTION? Many patients wish to anticipate their personal financial responsibility when planning for surgery.  First, keep in mind that you have the right to insurance coverage of reconstruction by the 1998 Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act. This includes coverage for surgery on your affected breast as well as your other normal breast for symmetry.  We use a proven 3-step process: 
1. We take the necessary steps to maximize insurance coverage for your surgery. We will request insurance “prior authorization” for your surgery. This is an agreement from your insurance company to cover the costs of surgery. We will do everything in our power to obtain your insurance company’s prior authorization before surgery.

2. We are your ally!  Dr. Rad and his team work with a professional billing service to ensure your insurance company agrees to cover the cost of surgery. 

3. We don’t give in! Even with prior authorization some insurance companies push back on total coverage. We work with other professionals in the legal sphere to convince your insurance company that full coverage is required. 

Hundreds of patients have enjoyed top flight results under Dr. Rad’s care, and we will be happy to answer your questions. Call us at 202.517.7299 and ask for Zoe.

BEFORE + AFTER

Dr. Rad offers the full array of breast reconstruction to his patients including microsurgery procedures (DIEP Flap and LSGAP Love Handle Flap), the most advanced tissue reconstruction operations which less than 5% of plastic surgeons in the greater DC and Northern VA area are capable of performing.

    Photos are of patients who have given explicit written agreement to have them displayed. For patient privacy reasons, the majority of Dr. Rad’s patients prefer their before/after photos to remain off-line. However, Dr. Rad will be happy to show you, in the setting of a confidential consultation, a series of before/after photos, not displayed here, to address your specific concerns.

    *SHERBER+RAD cannot guarantee specific results. Individual results may vary.

    Q+A

    Staged reconstruction refers to performing reconstruction over 2 or more surgeries. This is necessary if you want tissue reconstruction and there’s a chance that you may need radiation after your mastectomy. Dr. Rad recommends avoiding radiation damage of your permanent tissue reconstruction, and therefore a temporary implant, called a “tissue expander,” is placed into your breast at the time of mastectomy. This way radiation delivered to your breast will not harm the tissue that will be transplanted to rebuild your breast later. Tissue expanders can be inflated or deflated in the office, and are designed to hold your breast pocket open, maintain breast shape, and prevent the skin from contracting while you finish your cancer treatments. Most women who undergo mastectomy will have a tissue expander as a “place holder” until it is known whether the lymph nodes have evidence of cancer spread thus requiring further treatments.

    For reasons related to safety and achieving superior aesthetic results, Dr. Rad often performs breast cancer reconstruction in several stages:

    • Stage 1: A tissue expander is placed at the time of a mastectomy. This acts as a spacer to hold the breast shape until stage 2.
    • Stage 2: After a 3+ month healing period (depending on whether radiation is needed), the tissue expander is removed and implant or tissue reconstruction is done.
    • Stage 3: An outpatient touch-up procedure is usually (but not always) necessary to achieve symmetry – this can involve scar revision, fat grafting and/or breast lift on the normal side.

    The best breast reconstruction choice is different for each patient and it depends on many factors:

    the type of breast cancer surgery, either mastectomy or lumpectomy, that you require or have had

    • whether radiation is required or has been done in the past
    • what breast size you desire compared to the original size of your breasts 
    • whether tissue or implants are best to meet your objectives
    • your personal lifestyle and individual preferences

    You have a unique situation and there is no cookie-cutter approach. Dr. Rad spends time with each patient to achieve the best results with the least amount of surgery and in the safest manner possible.

    Dr. Rad discusses Microsurgery and the LSGAP “Love Handle” Flap in these news segments:

    What Patients Are Saying