Cosmetic breast surgery | Breast Reconstruction
Breast reconstruction is a very common procedure in the field of plastic surgery. The treatment is in most cases applied during or after breast cancer treatment.
Therefore, women who had a mastectomy (breast removal), due to breast cancer, may opt for chest reconstructive surgery. The procedure for breast reconstruction can restore the symmetry between the two breasts by replacing the skin, breast tissue and removed nipples.
The extent of the reconstruction will depend on the mastectomy, that is, the width, size and location of the removed tissue of the breast that was previously affected by the tumor.
Breast reconstruction is one of the most important steps in the postoperative period, with antitumor therapy. It is also an extremely important procedure for achieving the psychological stability of the patient.
Is Breast Reconstruction the Procedure For You?
In a long-term perspective a life without breasts, or without one breast, or without parts of your breasts can have significant mental effects on women. However, the personal choices of one woman due to her circumstances do not necessarily have to influence the personal choices of another. It is essentially a personal decision, as in the choice of every other aesthetic procedure.
It should be noted that innovations in plastic surgery now bring far better results than ever before. So today you can choose breast reconstruction using a breast implant or your own tissue.
This type of plastic surgery changes your appearance for the better, but you can also have psychological benefits from it, above all an increase in your self-confidence.
A large number of women choose to reconstruct their breasts even before the process of their treatment begins. However, it is necessary to fulfill the following conditions before opting for surgery:
- A Physical examination by a plastic surgery expert
- Assess surgical risk factors (such as smoking and weight)
- Defining what the treatment will be post-surgery
- All women are not ready for surgery immediately after completing mastectomy
Does breast reconstruction fall into the domain of cosmetic surgery?
Although from at a firsthand perspective they may seem the same, breast reconstruction is not considered cosmetic surgery. It is primarily a reconstructive surgery, and is considered a part of the treatment of the current breast disease.
When is the best time for breast reconstruction?
In terms of timing, breast reconstruction is generally based on your personal wishes, medical condition, and the process of breast cancer treatment. You can opt for reconstructive surgery during the mastectomy, or months, even years after the mastectomy.
In some cases, when radical removal of breast is caused by invasiveness of the tumor, breast reconstruction is planned after the completion of the so-called. adjuvant therapies (chemotherapy, air therapy, hormone therapy, etc.).
What are the different procedures possible for breast reconstruction?
Implants include stretching the skin with a tissue expander that goes into the chest, and then inserts a silicone-gel or saline-filled implant later. The tissue expander is filled to the desired volume, usually once a week for multiple sessions. Many women think that these sessions are painful, but they are often very satisfied with the final result.
The Tissue flap procedure uses the woman’s own tissue taken from the abdomen or back (or sometimes from the thigh and buttocks) in order to create the breast reconstruction area. The taking of the abdominal tissue is called a TRAM flap. Taking back tissue is called the Latissimus dorsi flap. Thus, in this case, the breast reconstruction is used with a skin flap and an adjacent muscle beneath it, which is then transferred by special microsurgical techniques to the site of the removed breast.
Nipple reconstruction is also one of the procedures in the area of reconstructive breast surgery. Usually the nipples and areola (dark space around the nipple) are removed during mastectomy in order to reduce the possibility for the cancer to return.
Nipple restoration is usually an outpatient procedure, which is done through local anesthesia. Small adjustments to the position and size of the breast can be done after the nipples and areolas are reconstructed.
The surgeon can ” create ” your nipples from tissues taken from the back or abdominal region. The tissue is then tattooed to look like the natural color of the nipple. In rare cases, the nipple from the original breast can be reconnected, but only if the surgeon is convinced that the tissue is absolutely cancer free. In this case, due to the lack of nerve connections, the nipple will not be raised or retracted in response to the touch or temperature.
Finally, a prosthetic nipple is another option.
How long does this procedure last?
The preparation for this procedure which includes anesthesia, can take up to 2 hours. When the procedure starts, the full reconstruction of the breast will last from 1 to 6 hours.
Post-surgery, you will spend about 2 to 3 hours in the intensive care unit before you are transferred to the hospital room.
Recovery after breast reconstruction
It is possible that you will feel pain and / or discomfort the first few days after surgery. If necessary, you will receive the appropriate painkillers.
Shortly after surgery, you will be encouraged to move your hands, but it is still too early for any activities that require lots of movement, such as getting out of bed or lifting heavy objects. The day after surgery, you may be able to sit on a chair next to the bed. On the second day, most patients walk without any assistance.
The length of stay in the hospital depends on the type of surgery and is generally an individual matter. If you have implants, the average stay in the hospital is from 1 to 2 days. A ‘flap’ procedure may require a stay in a hospital for 5 to 6 days.
After you go home, you can expect a certain degree of pain, swelling and bruises for 2 to 3 weeks.
Most women return to normal activities within 6 to 8 weeks after surgery.
Most scars will disappear over time.
The shape of the reconstructed breast will gradually improve during the following months.
You will be asked to go to regular checkups.
It is very important to continue “self-check” of your breasts every month, and to report any kind of change that you might notice as soon as possible to your doctor.
If you need more detailed information, please contact our call center at Atlas General Hospital and schedule consultations: +381 11 785 88 88