Breast Cancer Reconstruction
The plastic surgery community has made great strides in breast reconstruction surgery over the past 10 years.
Working hand in hand with breast surgeons, plastic surgeons are giving breast cancer patients the most natural-looking breast reconstruction possible, often making a diagnosis of breast cancer easier to bear.
In the past, having a mastectomy meant everything in the breast area was surgically removed, and left that way. Today’s modified mastectomy with immediate breast reconstruction is literally changing the shape of post-breast cancer breast reconstruction. It is more common now to begin breast reconstruction with a Plastic Surgeon immediately, to reduce the trauma of mastectomy.
The modified mastectomy has become an accepted breast reconstruction, and new innovations in the technique are continuously being introduced.
Is this right for me ?
Breast reconstruction is a highly individualized procedure. You should do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else’s desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image.
Breast reconstruction is a good option for you if:
You are able to cope well with your diagnosis and treatment
You do not have additional medical conditions or other illnesses that may impair healing
You have a positive outlook and realistic goals for restoring your breast and body image
Breast reconstruction typically involves several procedures performed in multiple stages.
Begin at the same time as mastectomy, or
Be delayed until you heal from mastectomy and recover from any additional cancer treatments.
It’s important that you feel ready for the emotional adjustment involved in breast reconstruction. It may take some time to accept the results of breast reconstruction.
Breast implant surgery usually takes one to two hours to complete. You can be back to work in a few days. Physical contact with breasts can be comfortable within 3 to 4 weeks. Fading of scars will occur within several months to a year or more.
Although you may be up and about in a day or two, your breasts may still ache occasionally for a couple of weeks. You should avoid lifting or pushing anything heavy for three or four weeks. Most women can return to work (if it’s not too strenuous) and social activities in about two weeks, but you should limit your exercises to stretching, bending, and swimming until your energy level returns. You’ll also need a good athletic bra for support. Much of the swelling and bruising will disappear in the first few weeks, and it may be six months to a year before your breasts settle into their new shape.