Breast Reconstruction Surgery Now Available at Brookings Health System

  • February 14, 2013

Brookings Health System recently added breast reconstruction surgery to the list of operating room services available to patients.

“For women who need a mastectomy, breast reconstruction allows them to feel more comfortable about their appearance and restores their confidence,” said Chief Nursing Officer Tammy Hillestad. “We are pleased to add this procedure to our list of services in order to better serve the women of our community and allow them to recover close to home near loved ones.”

Breast reconstruction, performed by Plastic Surgeon Dr. Richard Howard of the Sioux Falls Center for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, will often happen immediately after mastectomy, performed by General Surgeon Dr. Theresa Oey-Devine of Avera Medical Group –Brookings.

To reconstruct the breast after a mastectomy, a plastic surgeon often adds skin and tissue flaps from the patient’s own body to give a natural look and feel. In addition, expanders are inserted under the muscle in the breast area at the time of surgery and are slightly expanded with a small amount of saline. After the initial procedure, patients may be hospitalized for one to two days to recover.

The expander is gradually enlarged by a series of saline injections over several weeks. The first in-office expansion will be performed by Dr. Howard; patients have the option of receiving subsequent expansions by Dr. Oey-Devine and seeing Dr. Howard at his monthly outreach clinic at Brookings Health System. Once tissue has expanded to the desired size for the new breast, the temporary saline expander is removed by Dr. Howard and a permanent implant is inserted.

Women interested in reconstructive breast surgery may contact Dr. Howard at (605) 334-1930 to setup a consultation with him at Brookings Health System or Dr. Oey-Devine at the Avera Medical Group – Brookings at (605) 697-9500.

Brookings Health System’s surgical services offers a full range of inpatient, outpatient (same-day surgery), and emergency surgical treatments provided by skilled surgeons and professional support staff. To learn more about Brookings Health System’s surgical services, please visit

About Brookings Health System

Brookings Health System, located in Brookings, South Dakota, includes a 49-bed hospital, the 79-bed Brookview Manor nursing home, and Brookhaven Estates apartments. It is a non-profit, city-owned facility that offers the community a full range of inpatient, outpatient, and extended care services. The emergency room is staffed 24 hours a day and provides around the clock medical-nursing care for patient needs ranging from minor injuries to life threatening crises. For more information about the services offered at Brookings Health System, please call (605) 696-9000 or visit us on the Web at