Breast Reconstruction After Cancer
Many patients choose to undergo breast reconstruction after cancer in Troy, MI. This type of surgery is used to restore the natural appearance of the breasts and nipples following a mastectomy procedure.
People usually undergo a mastectomy either because they are at risk of developing breast cancer or because they have already been diagnosed with it. Typically, the procedure involves the removal of one breast (a single, or unilateral, mastectomy) or both breasts (a double, or bilateral, mastectomy).
Is Breast Reconstruction After Cancer Right for Me?
Breast cancer treatment is an incredibly taxing process. In many cases, breast reconstruction surgery can ease the difficulty of this time by restoring a degree of normalcy and comfort.
If you are interested in undergoing breast reconstruction after cancer, it is important that you are a safe candidate for the procedure. Patients with conditions that could negatively affect healing may not be ideal candidates. Smokers will need to quit in advance of the procedure, because smoking increases the chance of complications.
Techniques for Breast Reconstruction After Cancer
There are two main techniques used for breast reconstruction surgery:
A saline or silicone breast implant will be inserted to restore breast volume. In some cases, a tissue expander must be inserted first in order to naturally expand the chest tissues. Once enough space has been created for the breast implant, the expander is removed and replaced with the implant.
Because implant reconstruction requires a shorter recovery time, it is an ideal option for older patients. It is also an excellent option for bilateral mastectomy patients, since it creates very symmetrical results. Patients who are in need of post-mastectomy radiation treatment may not be good candidates for implant-based reconstruction.
Also called autologous reconstruction, this option involves your breasts being reconstructed using a section of tissue sourced from another part of your body, such as your thighs, buttocks, or stomach. If more volume is required, then this technique may be paired with placement of an implant.
This type of reconstruction is often a good choice for unilateral mastectomy patients, because its results match the look and feel of the natural breast well.
Along with choosing a technique, the patient will also need to make choices regarding the timing of the procedure. In some cases, breast reconstruction is performed immediately following mastectomy, while in others, it is done after many months or, in some cases, years.
During a consultation with one of our surgeons, the two of you will discuss your options in great detail. This will help you make the right decision for you.
Breast Reconstruction After Cancer: Recovery and Healing
The healing process after a reconstructive breast surgery is different for each patient. Because of this, it will be best to follow your surgeon’s specific recovery directions as closely as possible.
Generally, breast reconstruction recovery will involve a degree of downtime, including time off from work. Patients must avoid physically taxing activities like sports, heavy lifting, and heavy exercise for several weeks.
Post-surgical pain and discomfort are to be expected and can be addressed with the help of prescription pain medication. Antibiotics will also be prescribed to eliminate the chance of infection.
Patients must wear a supportive bra without underwire in order to support the reconstructed breasts as they heal. This will also help in the reduction of post-surgical bruising and swelling. Use of cold compresses may be recommended.
Sutures will be removed during a follow-up appointment. At this time, the doctor will check on the status of the incisions and ensure that the patient is healing properly.
The Cost of Breast Reconstruction After Cancer
The cost of breast reconstruction after cancer will typically be covered by health insurance. Price varies based on the techniques used, the time needed to perform the surgery, and many other factors.
Arrange Your Consultation
Contact our office to schedule an informative consultation regarding breast reconstruction after cancer in Troy, MI. Meeting with one of our experienced surgeons is the best way to find out more about this surgical option.
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