Going through breast cancer is a traumatic experience and emerging from it victorious is amazing. Many women who go through breast cancer lose their breasts to cancer. The loss can affect their self-esteem, and it changes their physique. Fortunately, there is a procedure available that can restore your confidence and physique—breast reconstruction.
So, what is breast reconstruction? How does it work? When can you have the procedure? Read on to learn more.
Breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure performed by a plastic surgeon to build a new breast for someone who has lost theirs. Several options exist for how the procedure can be done. Surgeons utilize two main techniques to rebuild breasts—implants and autologous.
You can choose to have the procedure during the mastectomy or after. The time you have the procedure also produces different outcomes. Usually, the final stage of breast reconstruction is recreating the areola and nipple. It is not necessary if they were not lost during the mastectomy.
A surgeon can make new breasts in three main ways:
Using implants to replace your breast tissue; All or some of the tissue could be replaced.
Flap or autologous reconstruction; Using tissue harvested from another body part.
Using an implant and your breast tissue.
Before the procedure, the surgeon will discuss the intricacies of the available surgeries. They detail what each type of reconstruction involves and the recovery. The surgeon aims to ensure that your new breast matches your remaining breast.
After the surgery, you will choose whether to have the nipple and areola created. You may also have the other breast adjusted to match your new breast.
As mentioned earlier, you can have the reconstruction procedure during mastectomy. You can also have the procedure after the mastectomy when the incisions have healed. The two options are called immediate reconstruction and delayed reconstruction, respectively.
In immediate reconstruction, you get a new breast immediately after you lose the other. The surgeon will try as much as possible to match your other breast. However, they will not be the same, and that is normal.
Immediate reconstruction is a choice for women who may be overwhelmed by the loss of their breasts. It helps them cope better and adjust much faster to the new breast. The new breast will not feel the same as the other.
You will have a new breast when you wake up from the mastectomy. Another key aspect of immediate reconstruction is that you will not have to undergo another surgery. Also, the new breast will look better since the surgeon will use the skin from the removed breast. Another advantage of immediate reconstruction is the minimal scarring.
Some women are okay with staying without a breast after the mastectomy. They may want to think about getting implants or going through the procedure.
There is more time to consider your options and consult with a qualified surgeon. Also, your cancer treatment will be over, so your reconstruction surgery will not impact it. As well, you can recover much faster as you prepare better for the surgery.
For more on how breast reconstruction surgery after breast cancer works, call Natural Results Plastic Surgery at (480) 418-5300 to reach our office in Scottsdale, Arizona.