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What is Breast Reconstruction?

Breast reconstruction involves rebuilding the breast after its removal due to a mastectomy or other trauma or injury. Breast reconstruction in Chicago can be a single procedure, but is most often a series of surgeries that help recreate the breast mound with a combination of natural skin and tissue along with breast implants or fat transfer augmentation.

Dr. Otto Placik is a board certified plastic surgeon who specializes in breast reconstruction after breast cancer, but also offers a full range of cosmetic breast procedures for women in Chicago and throughout the surrounding suburbs. Dr. Placik understands the emotional impact of a breast cancer diagnosis and subsequent mastectomy, and helps ensure that you feel comfortable and supported from consultation through recovery.

Please contact us online or call our Chicago or Arlington Heights plastic surgery offices for more information on breast reconstruction surgery, including prices.

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in Chicago

Dr. Otto Joseph Placik Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Placik is a board certified plastic surgeon in Chicago and an active member of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons. He received his medical degree from Northwestern University where he also completed residencies in general and plastic and reconstructive surgery.


About Breast Reconstruction

Women who have had all or part of one or both breasts removed often find reconstruction to be an important part of the healing process. After a mastectomy, reconstruction can help restore a sense of femininity and confidence as well as a sense of feeling “whole” again. Reconstruction can either be performed at the time of mastectomy, or can be delayed until the patient is emotionally ready to move forward with the reconstructive part of the process.

The complexity and duration of your breast reconstruction will be largely determined by how aggressive the mastectomy surgery was. Patients who still have the pectoral muscle intact can typically expect a better aesthetic result than patients who had a radical mastectomy and no longer have the chest muscle. When rebuilding the breast, breast implants form the foundation of the new breast shape, although fat transfer augmentation may be an option for some patients. For some patients, natural tissue may be used for reconstruction as well.

Breast reconstruction includes not only the recreation of a natural breast shape and profile, but also reconstruction of the nipple and areola using skin grafts. In many cases, the opposite breast may require cosmetic procedures in order to ensure symmetry, such as breast reduction or a breast lift. Tissue expanders may be necessary in order to stretch the skin enough to accommodate the desired implant size.

Reconstruction surgery is performed under general anesthesia, and can require a hospital for a day or two. Depending on the extent of reconstruction you will require, more than one surgery may be necessary. In order for your body to properly heal, it’s imperative that you follow Dr. Placik’s recovery instructions and avoid any strenuous activities for 6 weeks. You can expect some soreness and discomfort after surgery, but prescription medications should help make you more comfortable.

Before and After Breast Reconstruction Diagram

Breast Reconstruction
Patient Not a Model

Breast Reconstruction FAQ

Am I a good candidate?

Almost any woman who has had part or all of her breasts removed may be a candidate for breast reconstruction in Chicago. Before your procedure, Dr. Placik will discuss how much improvement you can expect to see in order to ensure that you have realistic expectations.

How much does my breast reconstruction cost?

The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 led to the coverage of post-mastectomy breast reconstruction under any health insurance plans that also provide coverage for lumpectomy or mastectomies. Coverage also includes any necessary procedures on the contralateral (opposite) breast that could be required to ensure symmetry following reconstruction. If you don’t have insurance, or your insurance doesn’t cover breast cancer treatments and reconstruction, Dr. Placik and his staff can help you with plastic surgery financing to make your procedure even more affordable.

Should I have reconstruction at the same time as my mastectomy, or should I wait?

The timing of your reconstruction is often a very personal decision, and may be impacted by any necessary ongoing cancer treatments as well. Some women prefer immediate reconstruction, while others wish to wait until the immediate emotional and physical challenges related to cancer treatment are behind them. A study has shown that immediate reconstruction generally has no impact on the timeframe or success of subsequent treatments, including radiation or chemotherapy.

Will my breasts match?

Reconstruction typically involves rebuilding the affected breast to match your remaining breast, but additional procedures are often necessary in order to ensure the best results. Dr. Placik will explain all of your options to you so that you can make an informed decision about your final results.

What will my reconstructed breast look like?

You should expect to see a very positive outcome from your reconstruction, depending on the type of mastectomy that was performed and the amount of existing scar tissue in the reconstructed breast. However, it’s important to realize that there will always be some difference between your natural breast and a reconstructed one.

What are the risks?

The potential risks associated with breast reconstruction are similar to those with any breast surgery and may include anesthesia reaction, infection, blood clots or asymmetry. There is a higher risk of capsular contracture after reconstruction with implants compared to cosmetic breast augmentation. Permanent changes in sensation are also possible, although rare.

Dr. Placik promises you his best possible care and attention. If you would like to schedule a private consultation to learn more about breast reconstruction surgery, please contact us online or call us at 847-398-1660.


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Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19 View Update Virtual Consultation


Coronavirus (Covid-19) Update

Updated March 24th, 2020

With businesses all around us closing by either mandate or voluntarily you may be wondering how long we will continue to operate, or even why we are still open at this point.

After serious consideration and in line with the recommendations of our State and Centers for Disease Control (CDC), we are limiting the practice until April 7th.

We are diligently monitoring conditions and recommendations from professional organizations such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and understand that the situation is ever-changing and may alter our plans at any point in the future

As physicians, we are cognizant of protecting our own patient population most at risk and the need to conserve our own limited resources. Actions have already been taken to postpone or cancel appointments and surgeries for patients who are best served staying home to limit potential exposure. We have also canceled or rescheduled appointments for services that are not immediately necessary in many cases.

Effective immediately the following will occur:

  • All procedures and in-person consultations will be limited until April 7th. This may be revised in the following week.
  • The office will be (not fully) staffed, and we will see our urgent post-surgical follow-ups.
  • We are instituting Virtual Consultations for all potential patients.
  • Many surgeries are rescheduled and some of the ones that are committed will occur on a per case basis.
  • No patient will ever have any financial recourse for our fees for rescheduling their procedures.

We are constantly updating our services and staffing according to the local and national recommendations and will always place your health and well-being as our top priority.

We continue to exercise all the latest recommendations that are handed down by the CDC. These include:

Staff have been fully informed and trained to understand the disease process and its modes of transmission.

  • All staff, vendors and ancillary personnel are being asked to refrain from coming to this office if they have any signs or symptoms of a cold or an upper respiratory tract infection.
  • Every patient is also being asked to refrain from coming to the office if they have any symptoms.
  • We are asking our patients about any pertinent travel history.
  • Hand-washing continues to be the most important mode of prevention. Although it is a part of what we constantly do, now we are doing so with heightened vigilance and attention.
  • We have instituted a “no handshakes no hug” policy for now.
  • We have asked all vendors that any unnecessary meetings are canceled until further notice.
  • Any exit and entrance from our office are followed by a protocol of changing shoes, scrubs and sanitization.
  • As we are an (NO accredited) medical facility, we are constantly sanitizing all surfaces. We have now vamped that up and our routine, multiple times a day, wiping down all surfaces, desks, door handles, keyboards and restroom facilities. (We have assigned a person that does so on a constant basis.)

As previous communications have shared, procedures and protocols have been put in place (and continue to evolve) to protect our employees in the workplace. However, no one can guarantee the absolute protection from infection or potential exposure despite recommended precautions being taken.

The virus can be transmitted before an infected person starts exhibiting symptoms. It is possible for a person to be infected and also not experience symptoms. We are doing everything possible to prevent people exposed or exhibiting symptoms from access to our facilities. Even with all of our precautions, exposure to patients with the COVID-19 virus can happen. When we become aware of any potential exposure, our response is immediate and actions are taken to protect everyone directly involved.

Experts are predicting that 40% of the Chicagoland population will be infected within the next month. Current information demonstrates that for 97% of the people infected the symptoms will be mild or flu-like. 3-5% of patients will require hospital care, and the mortality rate is less than 2%.

Risk of exposure will occur at every touchpoint of our daily lives outside of our home-- including gas stations, grocery stores, and medical facilities.

Although Covid-19 is a serious issue, we strongly believe that it will pass and hopefully make our infrastructure and our ability to deal with pandemics in this Country even better than it currently is. We are monitoring this situation on a real-time basis and will not sit back until we know that we have done everything possible to avoid unnecessary exposure.

Here are some links that might be useful:

Please do not hesitate to contact us. We are always here to answer your questions

Please allow us time to respond.

Call us at our current phone line to leave a non-urgent message or via our online email, contact form, virtual consultation or apex chat service popup box. As always for any emergency services, please call 911