Once You’ve Experienced a Mastectomy, You May Be Considering Breast Reconstruction
Many women must make the difficult choice to undergo a mastectomy in order to treat breast cancer or prevent its onset/resurgence. This procedure is a major life change and can affect one’s self-image.
To make this life change less difficult, we provide a surgical option to help you regain your breasts. This procedure is known as breast reconstruction.
Breast reconstruction involves rebuilding the breasts for women who have had a lumpectomy or mastectomy. It can be carried out as part of these procedures or immediately afterwards. It can also be carried out several months after you’ve undergone your mastectomy/lumpectomy.
A breast reconstruction may involve the reconstruction of nipples and areolae if they have not been preserved during the mastectomy. Breast reconstruction may also involve reshaping the unaffected breast to ensure a proper match in size and shape.
The reconstruction process can be carried out in two ways: implant-based reconstruction, where saline or silicone implants are used, or autologous reconstruction, where tissue from your own body is used to reconstruct the breast or breasts.
For implant-based reconstruction, Dr. Bundrick will insert the implants either under the chest muscle or above it. There are two phases in which this is carried out:
• In the first phase, Dr. Bundrick will expand the tissues using a tissue expander. This small device is filled with saline on periodic visits.
• In the second phase, after the appropriate degree of expansion has taken place, the expander is removed and replaced with a saline or silicone implant.
The whole process, with both phases combined, takes a few months to complete.
For autologous reconstruction, Dr. Bundrick will take a section of tissue from another region of the body and repurpose it to reconstruct the breasts. This section of tissue is referred to as a flap.
The flap can be taken from various sites of the body. In general, they are taken from the back or abdomen. However, the buttocks and thighs are also common choices.
Why Get Breast Reconstruction Done?
There are several reasons why a woman may consider breast reconstruction. To begin with, a breast reconstruction can help a patient feel more comfortable and confident about her body after mastectomy surgery.
A breast reconstruction can also help with creating a more balanced and proportional appearance, especially when wearing a swimsuit or bra.
The Breast-Reconstruction Recovery Process
After you have gotten breast-reconstruction surgery, you will need to recover and heal. The details of this recovery period will vary according to a number of factors, including the exact techniques used during your surgery and the timing of the procedure relative to the mastectomy or lumpectomy.
Post-surgical swelling and bruising will be present in the area temporarily. You will need to wear a post-surgical bra or an elastic bandage for a time in order to support your healing breasts. This bra or bandage helps to control swelling.
During a follow-up appointment, stitches will be removed, along with any drains that were placed. Drains are often placed to carry excess fluid out of the body during healing.
After a period of around six weeks, you may be able to return to your usual daily activities. It will be necessary to avoid physically taxing activities for a time.
Contact Us Today
Contact our office today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Larry Bundrick. Dr. Bundrick, a skilled board-certified plastic surgeon, will be happy to go over the breast-reconstruction procedure in greater detail with you.