A breast cancer diagnosis is a life-changing event. In addition to the physical and emotional demands of treatment, many women also find themselves adjusting to the appearance of their bodies following breast removal (mastectomy). Despite the nature of this procedure, mastectomy does not have to steal a woman’s figure. With breast reconstruction, the breast can be restored to a shape and appearance that mimics that of a natural breast.
Some things to consider before breast reconstruction:
- Your breast will not regain feeling or function after a reconstructive surgery. The results are purely cosmetic.
- There will always be some incision scarring on the reconstructed breast – both from the reconstruction and the original mastectomy.
- You can reconstruct only one breast if necessary, but Dr. Lohith Bose may recommend additional surgery on the other breast to create symmetry is size and position.
- Breast reconstruction is not a medically necessary procedure; but it can restore lost confidence for a woman bothered by the appearance of her body.
- You should only undergo breast reconstruction if it is something you desire for yourself – not for someone else.
Is Breast Reconstruction Right For You?
You might be a candidate for breast reconstruction if you have lost one or both breasts to a mastectomy. Lohith Bose, MD will meet with you to discuss the procedure and determine whether it is right for you. This consultation will include an assessment of your readiness, both physically and emotionally.
What To Expect From Breast Reconstruction
Your breast reconstruction can occur in one of two ways – at the same time as your mastectomy or later after you have completed cancer treatment. If you choose to delay your reconstruction, other options such as prosthetic breasts and breast forms can be used to add volume to the chest.
Types Of Reconstructive Breast Procedures
There are two types of reconstructive breast procedures. Dr. Bose works directly with patients to determine if one or both may be a good solution to meet their goals.
Dr. Bose can also reconstruct the areola and nipple to more closely mimic the natural look of the breast. The first – implant reconstruction – uses silicone or saline breast implants to add volume to the breast beneath the chest muscle. This may be done at the same time as a mastectomy, or Dr. Bose may complete this procedure in two steps by using a tissue expander to make room for the new implant later.
The other type of breast reconstruction, known as flap reconstruction, uses skin, fat, and sometimes muscle tissue retrieved from a donor area on the patient’s body to create a new breast. Tissues may be harvested from the upper back, stomach, buttocks or thighs. A flap reconstruction is more complex than an implant procedure, but the results tend to mimic a natural breast more closely.
The recovery experience following a reconstructive breast surgery will depend on the type and extent of the procedure. You may awaken from surgery with bandages and a drain to allow any excess fluids to be removed from the surgical area. It is normal to experience some pain and swelling, although this will subside over time.
As always, the staff here at Bose Plastic Surgery is here to support our patients in any way that we can. Should you have questions about the procedure or the recovery process, we encourage you to contact our office to speak with one of our helpful team members.
If you are considering reconstructive breast surgery, we would be honored to have the opportunity to meet with you. Contact our office to schedule you consultation. Our practice serves the Tampa area. We look forward to serving you soon.