Post mastectomy most women opt for breast reconstruction. There are a variety of reconstructive options but you may not be a candidate for all types.
Remember: early detection saves lives!
When to have your breast reconstruction performed is a decision made in conjunction with the other doctors treating your breast cancer, as the need for chemotherapy or radiation will influence when reconstructive surgery can safely take place.
Breast reconstruction is either performed during the same time as a lumpectomy or mastectomy, or at a later date.
If Breast Reconstruction occurs at the same time it is referred to as immediate, and if it occurs at a later date it is referred to as delayed.
Immediate breast reconstruction offers psychological benefits by avoiding a time lapse in addressing any cosmetic change, and also minimizes the number of surgeries for the patient.
Delayed reconstruction is sometimes performed because the patient chooses to wait, or in some cases the patient was not aware at the time that reconstructive options existed. Other patients are unhappy with the results of their reconstruction and now seek to undergo an alternative surgical method, such as replacing implants with their body’s own natural tissue.
There are a number of breast reconstruction procedures that can help rebuild the breasts. Procedures are tailored to the individual patient, and the type of procedure you have will depend on cancer considerations, your ultimate goals, and your unique body type.
But do not get overwhelmed. We will discuss this in more details during your consultation.
When it comes to breast cancer and breast reconstruction, it’s vital to be surrounded and helped by people who know exactly how to guide you and who can make the process run smoother for you.
The Breast Care unit at Milpark will be there for you every step of the way and will bring you invaluable support in every aspect.
Breast Reconstruction Techniques
Tissue Expansion is one of the breast reconstruction techniques that I offer.
This type of breast reconstruction involves the insertion of a silicone balloon under the skin to expand the tissue in the area. Periodic injections of saline solution cause the skin to stretch and form a pocket for a breast implant. The expander is removed after the growth process is complete and an implant is placed. The nipple and areola can be reconstructed later if the patient desires.
Breast Reconstruction with Implants
Some patients have enough skin in the breast area to place an implant for breast reconstruction without the need of a tissue expander. The implant can be placed under the skin and the nipple and areola reconstructed at a later date.
Did you know that women who need post mastectomy chemotherapy are still candidates for implants?
You will need to discuss all your reconstruction options with me. Your breast reconstruction approach and recovery will depend largely on:
- Your cancer
- The need for post-mastectomy radiation
- Long term risk
- Skin and tissue quality
- Desired aesthetic result
Whether you are considering breast reconstruction with implants during or after mastectomy surgery, you will want to discuss with me whether the use of a tissue expander will be necessary.
In addition, you can discuss your options for further reconstruction including re-creation of the nipple and areola.
Have you had breast reconstruction? I would love if you blogged your story – please send us your link. It would be a great help to others.
Flap surgery is a method of breast reconstruction that takes living tissue carrying its own blood supply from a donor area of the body to the breast area.
There are a variety of techniques with flap surgery including:
- TRAM Flap Reconstruction (skin, muscle, and fat taken from the lower abdomen and transferred to the breast area)
- DIEP Flap Reconstruction (skin, fat, and blood vessels are removed from the abdomen to reconstruct the breast)
- Latissimus Flap Reconstruction (skin, muscle, and fat taken from the outer back and rotated forward to form the breast mound, followed by implant placement). Nipple and areolar reconstruction can also be performed at a later time.
I hope you enjoyed this newsletter, remember that more information about Breast Cancer and Breast Reconstruction surgery can be found by clicking on this link. Lastly, if you would like to contact the Milpark Breast Care unit, dial+27 11 480 5779 or 0860 233 233 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org