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Everything about Breast Reconstruction

2021-07-28 16:59:21

Dr. Fariba Azadikhah
Reviewed by:
Dr. Fariba Azadikhah

Everything about breast reconstruction for breast cancer patients

Every woman after experiencing a bad situation such as breast cancer and the following surgery called mastectomy will ask herself, Can I get back to the before, can I have a breast cosmetic surgery? Does cosmetic surgery increase the risk of recurrence my breast cancer? What did I should do? How long after mastectomy can I have reconstructive surgery?

In this article, we speak about mastectomy and the ways of reconstruction surgery, and the appropriate time for reconstruction surgery after mastectomy.

Mastectomy after diagnosing breast cancer is a special situation. Your important decision affects your body, your quality of life, and your future. Collaboration between reconstructive surgeons and surgical oncologist is necessary. Ermateb will facilitate for you, by choosing the bests of surgeons in the two realms.

Ermateb experts will give you knowledge about your options that help you as a woman act as your advocate. During this journey trust us. Empower yourself by gathering information and knowledge about the ahead process which we provide to you in Ermateb articles, considering the consequences, evaluate your decision and make a good decision.

breast reconstruction process

Breast reconstruction at a glance

Reconstructive surgeons (plastic surgeons) perform breast reconstruction to restore or repair body parts destroyed or destroyed by cancer. They using an implant or tissue form your body. Your goal is to achieve a balanced and look natural breasts.

After diagnosing breast cancer your doctor based on your stage will propose you following:

Mastectomy (surgical removal of a breast); breast conservation surgery, such as partial mastectomy or lumpectomy (surgical removal of the tumor and surrounding breast tissue); prophylactic mastectomy (removal of non-cancerous breast to prevent cancer), if you have a genetic mutation.

Today improved reconstruction techniques by new medical devices provides new options in front of you.

Many patients think that they are not ready to have reconstruction surgery after mastectomy for many reasons, for examples they decide not to have any more surgery or prefer to wear a breast prothesis.

When can I have breast reconstruction?

This is a good and very important question. Most patients prefer that breast reconstruction be performed at the same time as their mastectomy (immediate reconstruction).

If reconstruction is done weeks, months ,or years later, it is called delayed reconstruction. It can be done after chemotherapy, radiation ,or any other cancer treatment.

Your choice between immediate and delayed reconstruction can be different based on the following: The stage of your breast cancer, Your health status, Your personal preferences and lifestyle, Additional therapy options (such as radiation).

What is advantages and disadvantages of immediate and delayed reconstruction?

The following table shows the advantages and disadvantages of immediate and delayed reconstruction to make the most effective decision.

table of immediate or delayed reconstruction

What are your preferences for breast reconstruction?

The options in front of you are divided in to three kinds: Implant; Your own body tissue; Combining implant and your own body tissue.

A surgeon by considering all the aspects similar to your body shape; your past surgeries; the current state of your health; treatment needs; the preferences of each individual and discussing you about reconstructive options, containing benefits, risks, and restrictions will push you to make the best decision.

breast reconstruction procedure

Only utilizing implants

Cosmetic results can be achieved using implant-based reconstruction without using tissue from another part of your body.

 Following mastectomy, your reconstructive surgeon will insert a tissue expander (a silicone balloon filled with saline (sterile salt water) in a pocket formed under a muscle on your chest wall and the skin remaining after the mastectomy.

Saline is added to the expander gradually during outpatient visits to the plastic surgery clinic.

To achieve the desired breast size, the tissue expander is filled with saline to help stretch the muscles and skin.

 It is often necessary to stretch the skin slightly further than necessary to obtain the desired size since the damaged skin naturally shrinks after the tissue expander is removed.

 Using Your Own Body Tissue

Reconstruction of the breast mound can be done using tissue from another part of the body.

 Tissues can be taken from your back, abdomen (stomach), or buttocks. By rotating the tissue (called "pedicled" flaps), the tissue can remain connected to its blood supply.

 Occasionally, the tissue may be disconnected from its blood supply (called "free" flaps) to replace one that is exhausted.

A microscope is used for this type of surgery, which is known as microsurgery.

The operation involves two surgical sites. This means two areas for scarring and complications: one on the breast and one at the site where the tissue is taken. For tissue to remain alive, it needs a healthy blood supply. Moreover, these procedures involve the use of your own tissue, which can change over time, as well as grow or shrink as you gain weight and lose weight.

If your decision to have breast reconstruction surgery is final, you still have a lot to say about your doctor and make your final decision based on it. Here are some tips to follow if you decided to have breast reconstruction surgery:

Every surgery, whether for cosmetic or therapeutic purposes, has its complications and risks, and breast reconstruction surgery is no exception to this rule. The point to keep in mind is that many of the complications listed below occur in very rare cases. These side effects include:

Other problems that may occur after breast reconstruction surgery include:

before and after breast reconstruction

One of the side effects of using implants in breast reconstruction or mammoplasty is a very rare type of cancer called anaplastic cell lymphoma (ALCL), which is not breast cancer. Cellular lymphoma occurs between eight and ten years after implant placement, especially if the implant surface has hardened over time. Taking tests recommended by your doctor on time can reduce the risk of developing lymphoma.

Recovery after breast reconstruction:

The patient may feel tired and lethargic probably one to two weeks after breast reconstruction surgery. This time may be longer for people who have used the tissue flap method. Depending on the type of breast reconstruction surgery, the length of time you spend in the hospital varies. Most patients can return to normal life between six to eight weeks after breast reconstruction. If implants are used to reconstruct the breast, a shorter recovery time is required than the tissue replacement method. So be patient and endure the pain and inflammation caused by surgery. Scarring or scarring after surgery may take about a year to two years for complete healing. In the days after surgery, do stretching and light exercise over time, according to your doctor's instructions. Avoid smoking for a few days and weeks after your surgery.


At Ermateb, we help you get to know the best cosmetic doctors, meet them and perform your beauty operation with the best facilities and equipment in the best healing centers. If you have any questions about cosmetic and aesthetic breast surgeries, our experts at Ermateb will answer you.

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