The breast cancer journey is full emotion. If you’ve had a mastectomy because of breast cancer, you may be wary of having yet another procedure such as breast reconstructive surgery, a procedure that restores symmetry between the two breasts by replacing skin, breast tissue and the removed nipple. Let us put your mind at ease about breast reconstruction by answering these frequently asked questions.
How do I know if it’s right for me? The decision to undergo breast reconstruction is a highly personal and often difficult one to make. Many women choose to wear breast forms or pads instead of undergoing surgery, while others may feel that reconstructive surgery will give them psychological benefits like an overall sense of wellness. If you do choose breast reconstruction, be aware that there are options; you can choose to either get breast implants or have a flap procedure, during which your surgeon will your own tissue from another part of your body, such as the abdomen or back.
When should I have breast reconstruction? The best time to have reconstruction surgery depends on your medical conditions, cancer treatment and basic desire for the procedure. It can be done at the same time as breast removal or later on in life. Talk to your doctor to help decide the best timing for you.
Is breast reconstruction cosmetic surgery? Breast reconstruction surgery is considered part of treating a disease and is not considered a cosmetic procedure. In fact, according to the law, insurance providers cannot deny coverage.
How soon will I fully recover from surgery? The typical hospital stay is one to two days for implants and five to six days if you have the flap procedure. You can expect swelling, bruising and soreness for up to three weeks, and most women return to normal activities in as little as six weeks post-surgery. Over the following months, you’ll begin to notice gradual improvement to the shape of your reconstructed breast.
Please click here to view before and after images of breast reconstruction surgery. For more information about the benefits of breast reconstruction, contact Dr. Lalla today at 973-324-9455.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, a perfect time to discuss the options women have when deciding to undergo breast reconstruction after mastectomy. Studies conducted by the American Cancer Society have determined that many women who have had a mastectomy aren’t fully aware of the options available to them when it comes to deciding to undergo breast reconstruction. For survivors, breast reconstruction is often the last step in returning to a cancer-free life. Breast reconstruction can restore a cancer survivor’s natural feminine physique and boost her confidence. To follow are a few facts about breast reconstruction that every woman who has conquered cancer should know.
Breast Reconstruction Options
There are two main categories of breast reconstruction: immediate or delayed.
Immediate Breast Reconstruction
Performed immediately after mastectomy during the same operation
Immediate reconstruction lowers risks associated with anesthesia
Immediate reconstruction spares patients from emotional distress that is often experienced in women who have undergone chemotheraphy or radiation, and mastectomy.
Immediate reconstruction is planned and performed between an oncologist and plastic surgeon
Delayed Breast Reconstruction
Delayed reconstruction is classified under two main categories: Implant/Expander or Autologous Tissue.
Patients who have received radiation therapy must wait a minimum of 6-9 months to undergo breast reconstruction upon the conclusion of their cancer treatments to allow skin to properly heal.
Surgery can be performed at any point after the conclusion of cancer treatments as long as the patient has medical clearance.
Implant/Expander Delayed Breast Reconstruction
Two separate procedures
Surgical goals must be realistic for the patient, breasts are unlikely to be identical
Breasts may feel firm
Autologous Tissue Delayed Breast Reconstruction
Breasts often feel soft and more natural than expander reconstruction results
Recovery lasts anywhere between 6-8 weeks
Some patients experience complications with healing at the harvesting site
Are You a Breast Cancer Survivor? Contact Dr. Sanjay Lalla to Begin the Breast Reconstruction Process.
Are you ready to begin the breast reconstruction process? Take the first step – contact us today with any questions you may have about the breast lift procedure. To schedule your plastic surgery consultation with Dr. Sanjay Lalla, call our West Orange office at 973-324-9455 or our Jersey City office at 201-763-6764. We look forward to hearing from you.