Brookings Health System

Breast Reconstructive Surgery

For women who need a mastectomy, breast reconstruction allows them to feel more comfortable about their appearance and restores their confidence. 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.

Linda Peterson from Brookings discusses her recent breast reconstruction and care below.

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 of Avera Medical Group - A Department of Brookings Health System.

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 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 at the Avera Medical Group Specialty Care at (605) 696-2700.