Usually, immediate reconstruction takes place as a part of mastectomy or soon after the surgery. However, it is also possible to get breast reconstruction in the following months or years. Get to learn more about your options and everything you need to know about breast reconstruction in this article.
Is Breast Reconstruction Right For You?
Whatever your age, health, and relationship status, it can be difficult to face the challenges brought by breast cancer. Your breasts play a significant role in your sexuality, and having them taken away can be dreadful. Giving up a part of your body can make you feel anxious and uncertain, mainly because it is one of the hallmarks of being a woman.
Luckily, advanced practices and cosmetic innovations allow you to have the opportunity to reconstruct your body and regain your confidence. We can move forward with several treatment options that will bring back your youthful appearance. But first, you must ask yourself and think about which type of reconstruction you want, or if you want to undergo reconstruction at all.
Breast reconstruction is a personal choice. To decide whether or not to have your breast rebuilt ultimately depends on your preference. It is essential to take some time to understand all about breast reconstruction and how it might affect you, both physically and emotionally.
Types of Breast Reconstruction
Many surgeons will suggest immediate reconstruction because it produces better cosmetic results. However, if you are not yet ready to come up with a decision, breast reconstruction is still possible later on. Before you decide if breast reconstruction is right for you, it is important to talk to your doctor and surgeon about your options.
There are three types of reconstructive procedures following breast cancer treatment. These include the following:
Breast reconstruction using an implant involves the complete restoration of the volume and shape of your breasts. Implant reconstruction does not include extensive surgery, which makes it a particular recommendation by most surgeons. It is also one of the most common surgeries chosen by many women because the results tend to look closer to the natural breast shape.
Implants consist of materials from silicone elastomer filled with either saline or silicone gel. Experts continue to examine the safety of implants to ensure that it follows standards before it gets introduced to the market. Although there is no definite lifespan for breast implants, you will eventually need to get a replacement at some point.
If you are not feeling confident with implants, perhaps you would like to have a flap reconstruction. This method is suitable for women who want to maintain a natural droop in their breasts. This type of breast reconstructive surgery involves the use of flaps that come from your tissues, including your fat, skin, and sometimes muscle. Your surgeon will create a new breast by reshaping tissues taken from other areas of your body.
Breast reconstruction using tissue flap requires more prolonged operation and recovery time, making it ideal for those who want delayed reconstruction following their breast cancer treatment. It also provides long-term results, which do not require any further surgeries.
In some cases, an implant and flap reconstruction is a combination treatment. This option is available when one type of operation does not suit your preferences. Your surgeon can combine the two techniques to obtain a more natural result that fits your expectations.
Recovering from Mastectomy Reconstruction
During mastectomy reconstruction, your surgeon will recreate your breast shape and place it in its respective area. Your surgeon will carry out the surgery under general anesthesia, which will prevent you from feeling any pain. The length of surgery and recovery time will depend on the type of procedure you choose.
- After the Operation
After the surgery, you should expect your newly-reconstructed breast to have dressings. If you had flap surgery, you should also expect some wounding where your surgeon took the flap. Your surgeon will also place tubes around the area where the surgery took place. These tubes are called drainage tubes which are necessary to prevent infection to the wounds while they heal. You may also have a urinary catheter that can help drain your urine as you recover.
The medical staff will monitor your condition to make sure that you are receiving a good blood supply. You will also be required to keep the breast area warm by using blankets or paddings. Your doctor might prescribe pain relief medications to minimize pain and a course of antibiotics to avoid bacteria build-up.
- Recovery Time
Recovery after a breast reconstruction surgery varies for every person. Depending on your condition, your doctor might allow you to go home the following day. However, it will take longer for you to recover if your surgery is more extensive. Your doctor will also refer you to a physiotherapist to provide information and advice on performing daily tasks and breathing.
Your new breast will require some time to heal. It is necessary to follow your doctor’s advice on how to look after your wounds during this period. You should also consider the type of undergarments to wear that are suitable to reduce discomfort, fluid collection, and swelling.
Several arms and shoulder exercises are also essential to keep yourself mobile. However, there are still some activities that you should avoid.
It is entirely normal to see some bruising and inflammation for quite a while. If you are concerned about it, you can talk to your doctor to have it checked out.
Finding A Qualified Surgeon
Mastectomy reconstruction is an extensive procedure that requires expertise and competence. In some cases, a breast cancer treatment team includes a plastic surgeon. If you agree to proceed with reconstruction after your mastectomy, your care provider’s surgeon will take care of you. However, there are situations where it might take some time before you can come with a decision. In this case, you may need to find your cosmetic surgeon by yourself.
If you are looking for a qualified surgeon to perform your mastectomy reconstruction, you can start by taking note of your surgeon’s experience. You may also want to check their communication skills and knowledge in the field. At Breast Implant Sydney, we prioritize the comfort of our patients. Our team consists of highly-trained surgeons that will make sure to provide the improvement you desire. Take a step towards enhancing your figure by calling us.