Breast Reconstruction After Mastectomy: Options and What To Expect : When you have a mastectomy, it can make you feel like it is the end of the world. Not only have you had the devastating news that you have cancer or could be at high risk of developing cancer, but your body has to undergo an extreme. You have lost a part of yourself, something you can never get back.
Many women go through stages of anger, grief, and depression when faced with such a significant surgery in their lives. While it is overwhelming to have your body altered in such a dramatic way, there is hope. You may not ever be able to have your original breasts again, but your skilled plastic surgeon can help you to feel like you are taking back your life with breast reconstruction. Breast implants can improve your contouring, restoring your bust natural shape.
Feel Like Yourself Again When Implants Bring Back Your Bust
Your plastic surgeon understands how difficult it is for you to face your body after a mastectomy. You can expect to be treated with compassion and respect as you are guided through the process of reconstruction to give you the figure you used to have. Once your breasts are restored, it will look like nothing ever happened. Your bust will feel natural and create an appealing shape once again. You can choose to have your breast reconstruction surgery immediately after a mastectomy or you may choose to wait.
If you need to go through chemotherapy and radiation treatments, you may choose to wait for breast reconstruction surgery. Give yourself a chance to catch your breath. If you only need hormone therapy or the use of medication, you may feel like you are ready to take on the recovery process that comes with breast reconstruction right away.
If you are having a mastectomy to be proactive because you are at high risk for potential breast cancer in your future, you may be ready to jump into reconstructive surgery immediately. It is your body and your choice. You can seek out a consultation with your plastic surgeon before your mastectomy to determine the best approach to take for you.
Breast Implants May Give You the Best Results for Breast Reconstruction
When women seek reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy, they have two alternatives. They can choose to go with breast implants or they can have what is known as flap surgery in which tissue from their bodies is used to create a new bust. For the flap surgery to be successful, you must have a good source of excess tissue for the procedure. If you have any fat to spare, fat grafting can be used as well. If these options won’t work, you can choose to have breast implants inserted beneath the skin on your chest to create the roundness and curves you used to have.
What Can You Expect During Reconstructive Surgery for Your Breasts?
Your reconstructive surgery will take place in stages, unlike typical breast implant surgery that only involves the insertion of implants. The first step for you will be the placement of a tissue expander in your chest. This expander will slowly be filled with saline for several months after the procedure. This is gradually stretching the tissue to make room for your breast implants.
Eventually, you will be ready for phase two of your procedure in which your tissue expanders will be removed to make way for your implants. You and your surgeon will discuss what type of implants you would prefer. You can opt for saline or you can choose silicone. Each type of implant has its advantages. You will also have a say in what size implant you would prefer to have. You can choose implants that are the same size you used to be before your mastectomy to feel like you are getting back to normal. If your areolas and nipples could not be saved during your mastectomy, your plastic surgeon can resolve the problem by creating an artificial nipple. Tissue from other parts of your body can be molded to look like a nipple.
Cosmetic tattoo ink can be used to create the appearance of an areola and give your newly constructed nipple the appropriate color once you have healed. After your reconstructive surgery is over, you will be given instructions about your limitations in what you are allowed to do as far as physical activity is concerned. You will also find out how to care for your incisions. You should follow your surgeon’s advice to have the best possible healing process.
Choosing to Have Reconstructive Surgery Immediately or Waiting
While it is a personal choice when it comes to when you will have your surgery, many women choose to do so immediately so they don’t go through the healing process twice. Otherwise, what you go through after your mastectomy and what you endure during reconstructive surgery may feel like it is too much. Your treatment regimen may play a major part in your decision. If you do not feel well enough to endure reconstructive surgery immediately or you are going to experience the burns that are a part of radiation therapy, waiting may feel like the best option for you. Discuss your alternatives with your team of doctors, including your oncologists and your plastic surgeon in this important decision in your life.
When you feel like your life is spinning out of control after a mastectomy, The Aesthetic Surgery Center is there to help. Dr. William Ross, MD is a top body plastic surgeon in Naples, FL. He is board-certified and has many years of experience, knowledge, and skill. Schedule your consultation to discuss your alternatives for breast reconstruction.
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