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Everything About Breast Reconstruction

Breast reconstruction has been an important part of the breast cancer recovery process especially after mastectomy. Mastectomy is the partial or complete breast removal procedure after or during cancer. As a result of breast cancer, breasts are removed through mastectomy surgery.

All women should definitely have the option to decide whether to undergo breast reconstruction to have breast implants, and flaps, or not. The main aim of breast reconstruction is to renew and recreate the breasts partially or completely in the best and most natural way possible. Women often prefer to undergo this procedure to redeem their self-esteem and feel better after a difficult period in their lives. As always, your doctor is the best person to guide you on the risks that are involved in this procedure but it is important to note that breast reconstruction is a serious operation and unfortunately it does not prevent cancer recurrence. Always feel free to ask any questions you might have to understand the risks and the aftermath of this operation fully.

Patients’ overall health condition, weight, possible risks, and any treatment that might be required in parallel also play an important role before deciding on the process. Significant factors such as the amount of tissue or implant to be placed, and whether there is a small adjustment to be made partially on one breast or not, all of these will be taken into serious consideration by your plastic surgeon prior to moving forward. Surgeries are performed at hospitals generally under general anaesthesia.
What you can do to help yourself before the operation is to keep an active and healthy lifestyle, and stop smoking as these would be effective in medical procedures you might have.

    When it comes to surgery options, there are several ways to perform breast reconstruction surgery in the form of mastectomy reconstruction.
  • Implants (saline, silicone, or gel) to replace, reconstruct one or two breast(s) partially or completely
  • Breast expander to be placed during or after the surgery
  • Flaps, living tissue taken from own’s own body to recreate or correct the breast(s)
  • Flaps and implants are used together in breast reconstruction after cancer.

Your doctor will discuss and opine the best option for your condition. It is also important to see your doctor regularly after the operation as the recovery process itself is as important as the breast reconstruction after mastectomy. That is why the post-surgery period plays a vital role in maintaining the shape and form of the new breasts after having breast reconstruction implants or flaps. Your doctor may also suggest you wear mastectomy bras after the procedure. This special bra helps you protect against the effects of the new breast augmentation or reconstructed bras and they tend to have softer inner linings. Some also have special pockets for surgery drains as well.

Here at Vanity, we would be thrilled to guide you to make your own choice by providing you with effective guidance on the breast reconstruction process. You can contact us to learn more about the options and the details.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I have breast reconstruction after mastectomy?

Almost 40% of the women prefer to undergo breast reconstruction after mastectomy for breast cancer. Mastectomy recovery process should be fully completed and breasts should fully heal before further operations take place. It is always important to consult your doctor if you should have breast reconstruction surgery.

How long does breast reconstruction take?

Along with preparation for the operation, the overall process can take up to 6 hours to complete the breast reconstruction.

What does breast reconstruction surgery look like?

The aim of breast reconstruction surgeries is to renew the breasts once they are removed. There are different ways to reconstruct them. Implants and tissues from own’s body can be used to renew the breasts.

Is breast reconstruction painful?

As with any medical procedure, breast reconstruction also gives initial slight discomfort and pain, yet most women say they are happy with the result in the end.

How breast reconstruction after mastectomy?

There are different breast reconstruction surgery options. Breasts can be reconstructed after mastectomy procedure by using implants or body tissues to renew the breasts. Sometimes both implants and tissue are used to complete the reconstruction.

Is breast reconstruction surgery safe?

As you can experience in any medical procedure, breast reconstruction also poses some risks such as infection, bleeding, limitation in movements, and a slow or poor healing process. To minimise the risk, please be in contact with your doctor throughout the whole process.

How long does breast reconstruction take to heal?

If only implants are used without any living tissues which are called flaps, then the recovery time is to change between 6 to 8 weeks. Normal sensation on breasts however will take longer than that.

Does breast reconstruction include a nipple?

Nipple reconstruction generally comes months after breast reconstruction. Nipples are created to give a more natural look to breasts. Therefore, during the initial phase of the procedure, they might not be reconstructed.

Is breast reconstruction a major surgery?

It is considered a serious surgery as one might need to spend a couple of days at the hospital to be monitored, especially if the patient has flap surgery.

What happens during breast reconstruction?

During the surgery, an implant or living tissue from your body is shaped to create breasts for the patient. Then these are placed under the skin on the breast area and adjusted accordingly.

Can belly fat be used for breast reconstruction?

Belly fat can definitely be used for breast reconstruction and most people have enough fat in their belly area to allow breast reconstruction. Patients can also get benefit from a slimmer waistline after this procedure.

What percentage of mastectomy patients get reconstruction?

Almost %40 women have breast reconstruction after mastectomy.