Losing a breast or a large part of your breast to cancer is an extremely upsetting event. Fortunately, with the latest surgical advancements, there are excellent ways to recreate a normal-appearing breast after mastectomy and partial mastectomy through breast reconstruction. Recreating the breast is a critical step for many women in restoring self-confidence and quality of life.
Breasts that have been reconstructed do not look exactly like the breast that was lost. It is important for breast reconstruction patients to understand the limitations of reconstruction and have realistic expectations for their surgery and outcome. Ideal candidates should be in good overall health and not suffering from any condition which would hinder proper healing and recovery. Breast reconstruction can be performed at the same time as a mastectomy or delayed months or even years after cancer treatments have been completed.
During your consultation, Dr. Hsu will ask questions pertaining to your health, your lifestyle, as well as your goals for the procedure. At the consultation, you will be informed of all applicable surgical options. This is also the appropriate time for you to address any concerns or questions you have, and to discuss what the best plan for achieving your aesthetic and reconstructive goals would be.
Presurgical protocol may include getting tested medically or evaluated, or require adjusting your medications. If you are a smoker, it is important to stop smoking well in advance of the procedure. Dr. Hsu and her staff will advise you what to do prior to the day of the procedure. Below are some of the basic considerations related to breast reconstruction:
- Breast reconstruction may take place at the time of mastectomy or in a delayed fashion. Plans made by the surgical oncologist and breast surgeon may impact timing. The plastic surgeon and breast surgeon need to coordinate a plan, considering all the patient’s needs.
- There are different techniques used for breast reconstruction including implant or tissue reconstructions. Tissue reconstruction uses the abdominal or back tissue most commonly. In a TRAM flap, donated muscle, fat, and skin from the abdomen is used to reconstruct the breast. In a Latissimus Dorsi Flap, the muscle, fat, and skin is donated from the back and tunneled to the reconstruction site. An implant may be necessary to achieve the volume necessary .These “flap” techniques often require at least another surgical stage for fine tuning and nipple reconstruction. Patients usually stay in the hospital one to two nights after these reconstructive procedures. View real results utilizing the “flap” techniques and visit our patient education section to learn more about this procedure.
- Breast Implant reconstruction is another option and does not impact other body regions for the reconstruction. While implant reconstruction with tissue expansion may present a shorter surgical initial procedure and easier overall recovery, the process continues into the postoperative period with skin and muscle pocket expansion. An expander will be filled over weeks to months to achieve the volume necessary. In a later stage, a permanent implant will be placed, and nipple reconstruction can be performed.
Dr. Hsu and the staff at Best Impression Cosmetic Surgery understand how difficult it can be to have to go through breast reconstruction. We are here to offer help and support to patients throughout Philadelphia, Bucks County, Chester County and Montgomery County. Call 610-272-8821 to learn more.