3 Facts That Every Patient Should Know About Breast Reconstruction

If your physician has recommended a mastectomy, it is important to consider what your options will be for maintaining the appearance of your breasts. Fortunately, modern techniques allow you to restore the appearance, size and even the texture of your breast tissue. 

If only one breast has been removed, for best results, additional surgical procedures may be necessary. For instance, getting a breast lift or reduction on the opposite side will help you achieve a more consistent appearance. Alternatively, you may also be able to access a larger bosom through breast augmentation. 

What Should You Expect from Breast Reconstruction?

In today's world, there are many options to choose from. For instance, you can use either saline or silicone bags in the place of your breast, which provides a  more symmetrical appearance. However, both choices present with their own benefits and risks that should be considered prior to your reconstructive procedures. 

It is interesting to note that the containers used to hold the fluid within your breast are likely to be made of silicone, regardless of the substance they hold. In addition, silicone is a safe substance that cannot be successfully associated with the fears of breast cancer, pain or distorted breast tissue that were feared many years ago.

Silicone is more malleable than saline, while saline is usually easier to cope with if the implants rupture. You'll need additional procedures in the future if your implants rupture. Although it is not known to be a health risk, physicians often recommend that unrestrained silicone should not be allowed to stay in your body.

How Long After a Mastectomy Can You Begin Reconstruction?

In some cases, your surgeon may be able to remove your breast and provide you with an implant during the same surgery.This procedure is known as the one-stage immediate breast reconstruction. Support for the implant is provided through the use of mesh netting or by inserting it under the chest muscles.

If you are accepted for one-stage immediate breast reconstruction, it is not unusual for a general surgeon to remove the breasts and a plastic surgeon to provide the implant. 

A more common choice is the two-stage reconstruction, which may also be known as a two-stage delayed reconstruction or delayed-immediate reconstruction. If your plastic surgeon recommends this option, you will use a surgically implanted tissue expander in the cavity. The entire process can take up to six months, while the expander increases in size due to the injections of saline.

When the ideal amount of space has been created, the extender will be exchanged with a similarly sized implant. 

Finally, breast cancer is terrifyingly common and impacts one out of every eight women in the United States each year. There are also nearly three million breast cancer survivors living in the U.S. Early detection and swift treatments are crucial to your survival and therefore, making appropriate medical choices soon after diagnosis is crucial. For more help, contact a professional like Sam W Huddleston IV, MD with your questions.