To fight breast cancer and save their lives, many women opt to undergo a procedure known as mastectomy surgery. This procedure involves the removal of one or both breasts as part of cancer treatment. There have also been numerous cases where healthy women have voluntarily chosen to undergo mastectomy as a preventive measure.
While undergoing mastectomy is a necessary step in ensuring a healthier cancer-free future, many women struggle to come to terms with the fact that they will no longer have breasts. Without them, many ladies have admitted to feeling “less feminine” or “incomplete.”
Following a mastectomy procedure, several patients have experienced shock, grief, and anger brought on by the changes made to their bodies. It takes them a while to adjust to these changes and accept them.
Before your mastectomy surgery, you can make the choice to have your breasts rebuilt, either as part of the procedure or at a later time. Breast reconstruction is rapidly becoming a popular procedure among cancer survivors, giving them the opportunity to feel “whole” again.
Breast Reconstruction Surgery
Reconstruction surgery helps cancer survivors rebuild their breasts and feel more comfortable with their bodies. If you have to undergo mastectomy as part of your treatment, your surgeon will give you the choice of living without breasts or reconstructing them.
Before the reconstruction, the patient gets to choose the size, shape, and appearance of her new breasts. It is important to remember that breast reconstruction does not eliminate the chances of relapse.
How Is Breast Reconstruction Performed?
There are two breast-reconstruction techniques available: implant and flap. You will meet with your doctor to decide on the right procedure for you.
Implant reconstruction involves inserting a saline or silicone implant within the breast tissue. The implant adds volume, resulting in the formation of a fuller chest. Implants are inserted only after the patient has completely healed after the mastectomy procedure.
Autologous flap reconstruction involves using tissue harvested from areas of the patient’s own body such as the abdomen, belly, back, or thighs. The new breasts are rebuilt using the patient’s own skin, fat, and/or muscle tissue. This tissue is known as a flap.
The patient is allowed to choose if they want their nipples and areolae reconstructed. This procedure is performed after their reconstructed breasts have healed and taken their final size and shape. Some women are satisfied with having their breasts reconstructed without nipples and areolae.
Battling cancer is a harrowing experience, but you must not let it overcome you. Speak to your doctor about options on how you can enjoy a healthy life after you have conquered cancer.
Set Up Your Consultation
Dr. Antonio Gayoso is a highly skilled board-certified plastic surgeon with years of experience performing breast reconstruction surgery. Contact our office today to schedule your breast-reconstruction consultation, where you can learn more about the procedure and its results.