For those diagnosed with breast cancer and have received treatment, breast reconstruction may be a consideration. If you’ve had all or most of your breast tissue removed, you’ll want to restore the shape and size of your breasts. The good news is that there are plenty of breast reconstruction options available to you that you may not be aware of. This surgical procedure requires plastic surgery and maybe immediately available after a mastectomy. Specific to the patient, breast reconstruction surgery may consist of one or many procedures.
Questions to Ask About Breast Reconstruction Surgery
There are two types of breast reconstruction that include implant-based and tissue-based. However, there are some important questions that you should be asking yourself before taking that next step. With your doctor’s help, having a complete picture of what you want the end result will help you during this process:
- Take your overall health into consideration when making the decision to move forward in breast reconstruction.
- The size and location of breast cancer will play an important factor in the procedure.
- Your type of breasts and breast size will also be a determining factor.
- How much tissue was removed in your breast cancer surgery will play a key role in breast reconstruction.
- If you’ll need additional treatment for breast cancer surgery, your breast reconstruction surgery may be modified.
- Knowing how much tissue is still available after breast cancer surgery is important.
- You’ll have to decide if you want reconstructive surgery on one or both breasts.
- You’ll have to decide if you want both breasts to be identical.
- You’ll need to check to see if your insurance will cover the costs of the unaffected breast.
- You’ll have to decide how quickly you want to recover from breast reconstruction surgery.
- You may need to undergo more than one reconstruction surgery.
- You’ll have to have a good understanding of how the reconstruction surgery will affect other parts of your body.
Remember, that you are part of a team of doctors and surgeons during this process that will review all of your options with you. They will recommend the best course of action but it’s important to voice your comfort level with all options presented to you based on your age, lifestyle, general health, and body type. Talking openly with your medical professional team is the best approach for success.
What Breast Reconstruction Options Are Available
The American Cancer Society estimates that 40 – 50% of mastectomy patients get some form of breast reconstruction. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons has reported steady annual growth of breast reconstruction surgery over the years with a 39% increase in volume. During this process, you should consult a plastic surgeon that is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and preferably one with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
- Implant-based – This breast reconstruction option involves inserting an implant filled with saline or saltwater.
- Tissue-based – Also referred to as “flap” or autologous reconstruction, the tissue is transplanted from another part of the body like your belly, thigh, or back. It may also include an implant.
You can choose to reconstruct your nipple if this area was affected by breast cancer surgery. Also, you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons of both options. Implant-based reconstruction is easier to perform and recover from. However, they often need additional maintenance procedures and corrective surgery. Tissue-based reconstruction takes longer to perform and recover from but often does not need additional procedures. These options are also subject to what is available in your area and require special skills to perform. In general, your specific circumstances will define the reconstruction options you have in your geographic area.
Request Your Appointment Today
Are you or a loved one considering breast reconstruction surgery? Look no further. We partner with board-certified plastic surgeons who are highly skilled and seasoned at performing breast reconstruction. Our medical staff is also certified breast care professionals so you will feel confident that you are in good hands. We pride ourselves on providing world-class breast care services and have been trusted and referred by physicians alike. Request your appointment for a breast reconstruction surgery consultation today.