Being diagnosed with breast cancer can be a scary and overwhelming experience. There are so many things to consider, and it can feel like a lot. If a mastectomy, or the surgical removal of one or both breasts, is necessary, breast reconstruction surgery is an important part of many women’s care plan. In this article, we’ll go over some of the common questions about breast reconstruction after breast cancer.
Why have reconstruction surgery?
Choosing to have breast reconstruction surgery is a very personal decision, but many women do choose to have reconstruction done. The appearance of your breasts can often have a big impact on your selfesteem, and it can be difficult to find clothes that fit properly, especially if you only had a mastectomy on one side. Having breast reconstruction surgery can also help you to feel more like yourself after cancer treatment.
How will the process work?
Breast reconstruction has many options that can be considered. The procedure may be immediate which occurs at the time of the mastectomy or delayed, which occurs after your treatment. This is usually determined by the stage of your breast cancer, and your general surgeon. Two of the most common reconstruction surgery we perform, are expander/ implant, and latissimus flap reconstruction with implants. Implant reconstruction often starts with a tissue expander that is used to expand the tissue, with the expansion performed in the office and replaced with an implant several months later.
We also perform reconstruction with a latissimus flap which is a muscle from your back that is rotated to your front. It also requires a second stage with placement of an implant several months after your first surgery. Trying to decide which is best for you depends on multiple factors, including the size you would like to be, the quality of the tissue at the mastectomy site, and whether you had radiation, which is a conversation Dr. Moore will have with you during your consultation. Nipple reconstruction is generally the last stage and can be performed with tattooing, as well as nipple reconstruction with small flaps.
When can breast reconstruction start?
Breast reconstruction can start at the time of your mastectomy or it may need to be delayed, and that depends on the stage of your breast cancer and the post-operative treatments you may need. This will be discussed with your general surgeon, as well as your plastic surgeon.
If you have questions about breast reconstruction after a mastectomy, call 229-259-0019 today to set up a consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Bridgett Moore in Valdosta, where our outpatient surgery office is located. Dr. Moore can answer any questions you might have about breast reconstruction surgery timeline, the different options of breast reconstruction surgery, or any other concerns you may have. Azalea also has an office in Tifton, which means just a short drive for our Tifton, Albany and Sylvester patients!
Primary Source: plasticsurgery.org