Breast Reconstruction for Cancer
The reconstruction of the breast is a physically and emotionally rewarding procedure for many women and often times will improve their self-image, self-confidence, and overall quality of life. A woman may choose to undergo a breast reconstruction to if she has suffered from a mastectomy due to cancer. A breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure that will improve the symmetry of the breast while restoring the shape and size. A patient who has suffered from a mastectomy has the option to choose to have an implant based or tissue based reconstruction. The implant-based reconstruction uses a silicone implant, whereas the tissue based uses tissues from the patient’s body: abdomen skin, back skin, or muscles. During this process a combination of different reconstruction techniques may be used; TRAM flap reconstruction, Latissimus flap reconstruction, and various other methods to customize a procedure for the patient. The reconstruction of the breast is a lengthy process that must be performed in many stages; it may take up to one year to be completed.
Areas of Use
A breast reconstruction procedure is designed fulfill the personal needs and goals of the patient. This procedure will restore the symmetry, shape, and size of the breast giving it a natural appearance.
A breast reconstruction procedure may take up to one year to complete each stage of the process. The recovery period after each procedure may vary between 10-20 days before a patient can return to regular daily activities. It may take 6 to 8 weeks before a patient can return to strenuous activity; such as running or lifting weights. Patients may experience some swelling, bruising, and a moderate amount of pain during the healing process. The pain will be controlled with oral medications. Scars from a breast reconstruction procedure may take up to one year to mature.
Duration of Effect
The results from a breast reconstruction procedure may last forever. However, as we age our skin may be negatively affected by gravity, weight loss or gain, or hormones, this can cause a change in breast size and shape. It is recommended by the FDA that breast implants should be replaced every 10 years and a MRI be administered every two years. A follow up with a physician and the surgeon should be done yearly.