BREAST RECONSTRUCTION AFTER MASTECTOMY
Plastic Surgery Dubai | 21 September 2023
Breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure that creates a replacement breast after a breast or a portion of a breast has been removed. The goal is to create a breast that is comparable to your natural breast in size and form. However, they won’t be the same.
TYPES OF RECONSTRUCTION
The main ways of making a new breast include:
– implants to replace all or some of your breast tissue
– using tissue taken from another part of your body (autologous or “flap” reconstruction)
– using your own tissue and an implant
Dr. Vigo will talk to you about the different types of reconstruction. They may not all be suitable for you. They aim to match your other breast as much as possible. Dr. Vigo can also show you pictures of different types of breast reconstruction. You can see how the reconstruction looks straight after surgery and several months later.
After reconstruction surgery you might consider more surgery to:
– create a new nipple (a nipple reconstruction)
– change the shape of your other breast to match
WHEN TO HAVE BREAST RECONSTRUCTION
Breast reconstruction can be done:
– at the same time as the cancer surgery (immediate reconstruction)
– after your cancer surgery (delayed reconstruction)
When discussing reconstruction options with you, Dr. Vigo will consider:
– the type and stage of your cancer
– other treatments that you might need
– your feelings and preferences
IMMEDIATE BREAST RECONSTRUCTION
You immediately receive a new breast following an instant reconstruction. While Dr. Vigo will make every effort to match the reconstructed breast to your other breast, it won’t be an identical match. The replacement breast will appear and feel different from the removed one. However, some women discover that having their breasts immediately rebuilt makes it easier for them to deal with their emotions.
– You will have your new reconstructed breast when you wake up after your mastectomy or breast conserving surgery.
– You usually have fewer operations, so fewer anaesthetics.
There won’t be as much scarring on the breast that was rebuilt; however, there may be a tiny patch of scarred skin where your nipple once was.
– You might not have as much time to decide on the type of reconstruction you want.
– If you are having radiotherapy after surgery, it might change how the reconstruction looks.
– Dr. Vigo might advise you not to have implant reconstruction if you are having radiotherapy afterwards. But you can have a temporary implant during radiotherapy and a second reconstruction operation after the radiotherapy.
– Recovery time after surgery is longer with a reconstruction compared to having a mastectomy only.
– You may have more scars on your body, this depends on the type of reconstruction you have.
It’s probable that you’ll require additional surgery; this is typically minor surgery to achieve the best cosmetic result, and it might involve developing a new nipple. Complications following surgery may cause you to postpone receiving any necessary radiotherapy or chemotherapy. Radiotherapy and chemotherapy occasionally prevent the body from healing itself as effectively. Therefore, you won’t be able to begin these treatments until the wounds have healed if there are any issues with the wound following your operation.
DELAYED BREAST RECONSTRUCTION
Before considering having a reconstruction, some people would prefer to recover from their mastectomy and breast cancer therapy.
– You have more time to look at your options and discuss them with
– Your breast cancer treatment will be finished and won’t be affected by your reconstruction surgery.
– Your recovery is generally quicker as you have time to prepare yourself for your surgery.
– You have a time after the mastectomy with no breast tissue, you can choose to wear a false breast (prosthesis) if you want to.
– You might have a larger scar on the reconstructed breast than after immediate reconstruction.
– You may need more surgery afterwards to get a good cosmetic effect – this is usually minor surgery that you may have as a day case.
WHO CAN HAVE BREAST RECONSTRUCTION
Breast reconstruction might be possible for you even if you have:
– a radical mastectomy (removal of the breast and the muscle behind it)
– large breasts
If you are well enough you can have breast reconstruction at any age. There is a higher risk of complications if you smoke, are very overweight, or have other serious medical conditions.
RECONSTRUCTION AFTER BREAST CONSERVING SURGERY
Breast conserving surgery removes only part of the breast. After this kind of surgery and subsequent radiotherapy, the appearance of the breast is typically very excellent. When only a portion of a woman’s breast is taken, few of them require reconstructive surgery. But some women might require repair of the breast tissue that is still present. A partial surgery or breast reshaping might be an option.
HAVING A PARTIAL RECONSTRUCTION
Some women will require a quadrantectomy, for example, which involves removing a bigger portion of breast tissue. This indicates that roughly a fourth of the breast tissue is removed by Dr. Vigo. This kind of surgery results in the treated breast becoming smaller than the untreated breast and creates a dent in the breast. Nevertheless, by filling the dent with a small portion of living tissue, it is occasionally feasible to restore the shape with a partial reconstruction of the breast.
RESHAPING THE BREAST
If you need a portion of your breast removed and you have fairly large breasts, reshaping might be a possibility. Therapeutic mammoplasty is the term used. To make a smaller breast, Dr. Vigo reshapes the leftover breast tissue. You can have surgery to reduce the size of your other breast (breast reduction) concurrently with your cosmetic procedure to make them equal in size. Alternately, you could decide to consume this afterward.
HELPING YOURSELF BEFORE BREAST RECONSTRUCTION
If you take the following steps before your surgery, you will heal more rapidly after reconstruction surgery.
Smoking can harm tissue blood flow. Additionally, it may make you more likely to contract an illness. Smoking raises the possibility of developing a hernia if tissue from the abdomen is removed.
Maintain a healthy weight
If you are overweight, you run a higher risk of experiencing problems from an anaesthetic. If you would like to reduce weight before the procedure, request a referral to a dietitian.
Keep physically active
It can be useful to do sit ups if tissue is going to be taken from your tummy (abdomen). You could aim to build up to 30 sit ups a day. Talk to your doctor or specialist nurse before starting any exercise.