If a Mastectomy Is Necessary, Breast Reconstruction Surgery Can Be a Vital Next Step
A mastectomy is a surgical procedure designed to remove breasts to treat or prevent breast cancer. A breast reconstruction surgery can rebuild the breasts after a mastectomy. It can be done right after the mastectomy (immediate reconstruction) or at a later date (delayed reconstruction) as per your preference or the surgeon’s recommendations.
Losing a breast can be very traumatic for women, but a breast reconstruction can be an important step in reclaiming your confidence or emotional well being.
The Breast Reconstruction Surgery
Breast reconstruction can be performed using implants or skin flaps sourced from your own body. Your surgeon will recommend a procedure depending on your body type and the nature of the mastectomy procedure. Reconstruction surgery can also be done for one breast and it will be matched with your remaining breast that was unaffected by cancer.
If you choose to undergo implant reconstruction, you may opt for silicone or saline implants to rebuild your breasts. The initial surgery is shorter than flap procedures, but it can require maintenance surgeries in the future.
The flap reconstruction surgery requires sourcing tissues from your abdomen, thighs, or buttocks. The skin, tissues, and muscles are used to recreate the breast mound. Flap reconstruction can be time-consuming and more extensive than the implant procedure but the long-term results are really good.
On some occasions, the two techniques may be used at the same time to produce the best results from the reconstruction surgery. Tissue expansion is usually necessary for implant procedures. Your surgeon may place tissue expanders before placing the implants, which are removed once the implants are in place.
For women who have had a partial mastectomy, smaller implants may be used to reconstruct the breasts. They may also have the option to rebuild breasts using fat grafting where fat from one part of the body is used to increase breast size or reshape the breasts.
The nipple may be reconstructed or in some cases, it can also be preserved during the mastectomy. Tattooing may be also used to reconstruct the nipples or the areola.
You will need to rest and refrain from strenuous activities until your surgical healing is complete. You will need to follow post-operative care instructions that your doctor recommends.
Breast reconstruction can rebuild breast mounds really well. With time, some women can also regain a bit of sensation in their breasts.
Factors to Consider Before the Surgery
Breast reconstruction is a major surgery. Only a qualified and experienced surgeon can perform it well. It is important that your consultation for breast reconstruction occurs before your mastectomy. It will allow you to know your surgical options before the mastectomy in case you want to opt for immediate reconstruction surgery.
Your plastic surgeon will determine the right technique for breast reconstruction and help you understand the procedure. It is important for you to know that your surgeon may need to use additional techniques such as fat grafting to create symmetry between both breasts.
Your breast size and extent of the cancer surgery will also be factors in determining the right reconstruction technique.
Contact Our Office
To learn more about a mastectomy and breast reconstruction, contact Dr. Kenneth Hughes’s office to schedule a consultation with respected plastic surgeon Dr. Kenneth Hughes.