In many cases of breast cancer, the look of the breast will be significantly altered or even removed completely when the doctor removes tumors from the breast area. This is often very hard on women that experience breast cancer operations, and once they have recovered completely, many will look into different kinds of plastic surgery that can restore the way their breasts looked before the cancer.
Breast reconstruction occurs through several plastic surgery procedures and will attempt to restore the normal shape of the breast, as well as its appearance and size.
It is also physically and emotionally rewarding for women that have lost their breasts to cancer.
It can improve a person’s self-image, self-confidence and quality of life. It is important to know that even though the surgery can give women a new natural-looking breast, it will never look or feel exactly the same again.
There are things that need to be taken into consideration before opting for the procedure however.
It is important that a woman is able to cope with the diagnosis and treatment and that she has no additional medical conditions or illnesses that can impair the healing process.
In some cases, breast reconstruction can be done at the same time as the mastectomy, which is the cancer surgery. Sometimes it is better to wait for the damage from the mastectomy to heal and for all cancer recovery treatments, such as chemotherapy, to end as well.
Tissue needs to be taken from a so-called donor sites on the body and can usually leave incision lines on these parts of the body, which are usually the back, abdomen or buttocks.
Also, if only one breast was affected by the cancer and needs to be restored, it can be reconstructed alone. In some cases, it could be recommended to have a breast lift, reduction or augmentation done on the other breast as well in order to achieve symmetrical results.
The decision for having breast reconstruction surgery is a very personal one, and a woman must consult with the plastic surgeon to see what the benefits are and what the complications and risks of the operation could be.
There are certain risks that include bleeding, infection, and poor healing of the incisions as well as some risks related to the anesthesia.
If an implant is used, there is a risk of so-called capsular contracture, which is breast firmness, and also the implant could potentially rupture.
However, most research shows that implants do not impair the health of the breast, and no links have been found between autoimmune and systematic diseases and breast implants.