Breast Cancer Surgery and Reconstruction
Breast Reconstruction Surgery after Breast Cancer Surgery
Along with breast cancer surgery, you may choose to have breast reconstruction. This procedure can follow after a mastectomy in the same surgery. Breast reconstruction can also be done as a delayed procedure months to years after the initial breast cancer surgery.
Why should I consider a Breast Reconstruction Operation?
Losing one or both breasts to cancer is a very traumatic life experience. Cancer treatment may continue post-surgery in the form of chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Breast reconstruction helps to restore the shape of your breast. This may help you to better face the loss of your breast. It is important as post-surgery you will want to focus your time and energy on recovery as well as the other treatments that lie ahead.
Breast reconstruction also has benefit for daily function. It makes wearing a bra easier and prevents the bra from riding upwards. It also balances the weight of the opposite breast which is significant if you have large breasts.
Do take note that although breast reconstruction is able to restore the shape of your breast it will not be able to restore the sensation of your breast.
It is a larger operation compared to a mastectomy alone and there will be a longer recovery time for this surgery. Do discuss with your surgeon the pros and cons of this surgery to enable you to decide what will be best for you.
What are the various types of Breast Reconstruction Surgery available?
Generally the shape of your breast can be restored either with an implant or your own tissue, this is also known as a tissue flap. At times there may be a need to use both methods in the same surgery.
If your nipple has been removed during the cancer surgery it may be possible to reconstruct a new nipple from your own tissue as well. This usually takes place as another procedure about a year after the initial reconstructive surgery.
Again it is crucial to discuss these options with your surgeon as your cancer characteristics, the treatment needed as well as your breast size and shape, and your lifestyle, all impact the type of reconstruction that will be suitable for you.