October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, a perfect time to discuss the options women have when deciding to undergo breast reconstruction after mastectomy. Studies conducted by the American Cancer Society have determined that many women who have had a mastectomy aren’t fully aware of the options available to them when it comes to deciding to undergo breast reconstruction. For survivors, breast reconstruction is often the last step in returning to a cancer-free life. Breast reconstruction can restore a cancer survivor’s natural feminine physique and boost her confidence. To follow are a few facts about breast reconstruction that every woman who has conquered cancer should know.
Breast Reconstruction Options
There are two main categories of breast reconstruction: immediate or delayed.
Immediate Breast Reconstruction
- Performed immediately after mastectomy during the same operation
- Immediate reconstruction lowers risks associated with anesthesia
- Immediate reconstruction spares patients from emotional distress that is often experienced in women who have undergone chemotheraphy or radiation, and mastectomy.
- Immediate reconstruction is planned and performed between an oncologist and plastic surgeon
Delayed Breast Reconstruction
Delayed reconstruction is classified under two main categories: Implant/Expander or Autologous Tissue.
- Patients who have received radiation therapy must wait a minimum of 6-9 months to undergo breast reconstruction upon the conclusion of their cancer treatments to allow skin to properly heal.
- Surgery can be performed at any point after the conclusion of cancer treatments as long as the patient has medical clearance.
Implant/Expander Delayed Breast Reconstruction
- Two separate procedures
- Surgical goals must be realistic for the patient, breasts are unlikely to be identical
- Breasts may feel firm
Autologous Tissue Delayed Breast Reconstruction
- Breasts often feel soft and more natural than expander reconstruction results
- Recovery lasts anywhere between 6-8 weeks
- Some patients experience complications with healing at the harvesting site
Are You a Breast Cancer Survivor? Contact Dr. Sanjay Lalla to Begin the Breast Reconstruction Process.
Are you ready to begin the breast reconstruction process? Take the first step – contact us today with any questions you may have about the breast lift procedure. To schedule your plastic surgery consultation with Dr. Sanjay Lalla, call our West Orange office at 973-324-9455 or our Jersey City office at 201-763-6764. We look forward to hearing from you.