Women who have undergone surgery to treat breast cancer often elect to get breast reconstruction surgery. It is the best way for you restore your breasts back to the way they were before you beat cancer, typically following a mastectomy or double mastectomy. This procedure is highly individualized, and depending on your situation it may require multiple procedures. This procedure shouldn’t be taken lightly and requires significant amount of research, connecting with a highly skilled surgeon, and a complete understanding of what you’re signing up for.
What Is A Mastectomy?
Mastectomy is the surgery performed to remove a breast that contains cancer. There are three different types of mastectomies: partial, preventative, and radical. A double mastectomy is when a woman has both breasts removed. These surgeries are often performed if a tumor in the breast is not responsive to radiation therapy or chemotherapy. It is also used to treat women who have multiple tumors in a single breast if those tumors are too far apart to be removed through one incision.
Breast Reconstruction After A Mastectomy
A patient can elect to have breast reconstruction surgery immediately after undergoing a mastectomy (depending if the patient passes the surgeon’s physical exam) or the procedure can be performed at a later time. Patients may choose to have breast reconstruction surgery for a variety of reasons. They may want to return their body to its original figure, or they may feel anxious about the loss of their breasts. Breasts are traditionally viewed as an aspect of femininity and losing one or both breasts in a surgery can sometimes cause a patient to feel sad or vulnerable. Make sure you speak with your plastic surgeon about this, so that he/she can find the best type of reconstruction to help you attain your goals.
Types of Breast Reconstruction
There are quite a few options for patients who elect to have breast reconstruction surgery. The two main options are implant insertion and flap reconstruction. There are pros and cons to both procedures, so having all of the vital information is key. Once you are informed, your plastic surgeon can help you decide which is right for you.
Implant insertion is appealing to many patients because it is a less exhaustive procedure. Typically, a doctor will use a tissue expander to insert the implant which is a less invasive form of surgery. Implant insertion also only requires one surgical site which means it leaves behind fewer scars. Some of the drawbacks of implant insertion are: the implants only last around 10 years, scar tissue can form around the implant, and the natural breast cannot be exactly duplicated.
Flap reconstruction uses a patient’s own body tissue to reconstruct the breast. Patients are often attracted to this procedure because it looks and feels more natural than an implant. However, flap reconstruction requires two surgical sites. It also requires a longer recovery time, and can increase your risk of hernias.
More Information About Breast Reconstruction
If you are seeking breast reconstruction surgery, or are about to get a mastectomy in the Orlando area, then HZ Plastic Surgery can help you decide which type of reconstruction to get. Dr. Z is a highly trained cosmetic surgeon who will happily discuss the benefits and drawbacks of procedures with you. Read actual patient testimonials at his website, and see what real patients have to say. The hard part is over, the mastectomy is done, and now Dr. Z can help you get back to your old life.