Many women diagnosed with BREAST RECONSTRUCTION SURGERY undergo a surgical procedure called a mastectomy to remove one or both breasts. After a mastectomy, some women choose to have reconstructive surgery to reconstruct the shape and appearance of the breast. Breast reconstruction surgery can often be done immediately after a mastectomy. This procedure is performed during the same operating room visit as a mastectomy, so the patient does not have to return to undergo further surgery.
A mastectomy removes all breast tissue and often some of the surrounding tissue. Both breasts are often removed as preventive surgery for women who are at high risk of developing breast cancer. Losing one or both breasts can be physically and mentally devastating to the patient. Fortunately, many women can undergo reconstructive surgery to give them the desired pre-surgery look.
Women who wish to have a reconstruction can choose to do it while under anesthesia with a mastectomy. Recent studies have concluded that immediate reconstruction does not delay postoperative chemotherapy, increase recovery time, or interfere with the diagnosis of local cancer recurrence. Many women choose to reconstruct immediately after a mastectomy, so the entire process is completed with a single surgical experience.
Breast reconstruction helps restore symmetry in patients who have lost their breasts during a mastectomy. In addition to reconstructing lost tissue, the remaining breasts may undergo lifting, shrinking, or augmentation to improve the symmetry of both breasts. Your surgeon will be able to make recommendations for a natural and balanced look that will help you feel confident and safe.
During this procedure, the surgeon may use the skin and fat on the abdomen and back to reconstruct the breast bulge. Saline or silicone gel implants can be used in combination with this technique. The method used is often determined by anatomy, desired results, and personal preference. It is important to note that the patient does not have the same sensation in the reconstructed breast as the natural breast. Depending on the implant used, it may feel different or look unnatural. The patient will notice a visible incision line from the mastectomy and reconstruction.
Losing one or more breasts with cancer can be a very emotional experience. Often, a woman’s breasts are closely associated with her self-esteem and sexual confidence. With immediate reconstruction, women no longer have to worry about breast prostheses or other devices that give the illusion of the breast. Reconstruction ensures that women can wear the clothes they want and that they have the shape and appearance to be confident in their appearance.
Not all cancer centers have qualified surgeons who can provide reconstruction in combination with a mastectomy. To determine which options are available, you should consult with your cancer specialist about your wishes for this procedure. Doctors can look at the risks and benefits of reconstruction immediately after a mastectomy.
Breast cancer treatment can have a significant impact on a woman’s physical and mental health. It is important to get the care and treatment you need to fight this disease and live as a survivor. Breast reconstruction is one way to help women feel better about their body after cancer and improve their quality of life.