Breast reconstruction is a process that varies depending on your specific needs and treatment protocol. That is why the plastic surgeon’s openness to cooperation with the oncology team is so important. Breast reconstruction planning should be done before mastectomy (if it is possible).
Breast reconstruction procedure is directed to patients who:
- Are ready to go to the next phase of the treatment process after a mastectomy
- Completed or are in the course of treatment, but it is not a contraindication for reconstruction
- They do not have other conditions that may be a contraindication for safe and effective surgery
- They want to improve their appearance, get the symmetry of the breasts
- They want to feel confident in a swimsuit and in any other type of clothes
- They want to feel feminine and confident in every situation
When is the best time to reconstruct the breast?
Breast reconstruction can be performed at various stages of the treatment process:
- Immediately after the mastectomy – the so-called instant reconstruction
- A few months or a few years after mastectomy – the so-called delayed reconstruction
The operation can be performed in one step or in several stages. It depends on many factors, including readiness to perform this step. It is also important if the patient will undergo chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
To make the right decision it is necessary to contact the plastic surgeon before the mastectomy. Very important at this stage is full trust in the doctor, built up through mutual cooperation, honesty and kindness. Under such conditions, the Patient can calmly and harmoniously recover, and plan a reconstruction in line with her real expectations.
What does the breast reconstruction procedure look like?
Breast reconstruction is performed under general anesthesia and involves placing implants in breast tissue. In the case of immediate reconstruction, the implants are placed immediately after the mastectomy. In a two-stage reconstruction, the first place in the chest is the so-called expander (often already during mastectomy) filled with physiological saline, which is then replaced with the silicon implant (second stage).
If the patient does not have enough skin and tissue to hold the implant, the solution may be a procedure using a tissue flap. This operation involves removing skin and tissue from another part of the body (e.g. from the back – LD Latissimus dorsi muscle or abdomen – TRAM Transverse rectus abdominis muscle) to create a new breast. In some cases the best aesthetic result will be achieved by using a combination of these two techniques (implant + own tissue).
Another option is breast reconstruction using lipofilling. This is many stages operation and time taking but with amazing natural results. At the end of the process reconstructed breast consist of fat tissue and is very soft in touch and natural looking.
For more details please contact dr Kolacz.
Depending on how and when the breast reconstruction will be performed, the patient will spend one or two days in the hospital. The recovery process is usually a bit longer than with other surgical procedures. Most patients return to their daily activities within about two weeks. More intense physical activity is indicated only after healing of the wounds, both on the breast and in the places from which the tissue patch for reconstruction was taken.
Breast reconstruction can be an important element in the fight against breast cancer. It is worth to make an appointment as soon as possible to get as much information as possible about it.