Breast Reconstruction Surgery
Reconstructive surgery is an area of cosmetic surgery that has made astounding progress in recent years, often aiding patients who have suffered a deformity of their body from either injury, genetic deformity, or as a result of breast cancer surgery. The surgical strides made by Florida plastic surgeons, particularly in the field of breast reconstruction for women who have been stricken with breast cancer have been of tremendous benefit. Restoring a patient’s physical appearance can have amazing, beneficial life-altering outcomes, resulting in restoring one’s positive self-image and a healthier disposition, which is believed to assist in a patient’s fight against cancer.
The National Cancer Institute’s current estimates state that 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer at some point in their lifetime; these statistics were based on breast cancer statistics for the years of 2005 through to 2007. Today women are seeking breast reconstruction more frequently than ever before as diagnostic tools have made it possible to detect genetic predispositions to breast cancer and the women who fall into the high-risk category are opting to have elective pre-emptive mastectomies to reduce their risk of developing cancer by as much as 90 percent, leading to a need for reconstructive surgery of their breasts. Below we will discuss in brief some of the basics of breast reconstruction surgery.
Reconstruction of the Breast
For women who have undergone a mastectomy of the breast/s, a breast reconstruction surgery is performed to attempt to restore the size and shape of the breast/s that were surgically removed as part of the treatment for breast cancer. Optimally it is preferable to have the reconstruction surgery performed at the same time as the mastectomy to eliminate a second surgery, however this is not always possible due to the patient’s need of post operative radiation therapy or if pre-operative tissue damage or scaring has occurred due to radiation therapy prior to the mastectomy. In the event of pre or postoperative tissue damage a respite period of time will likely be necessary before reconstructive breast surgery can be performed.
Successful breast reconstruction may require one or more surgeries in which the breast/s are first reformed to produce a natural breast appearance, with the end stage of the process being reconstruction of the nipple and areola (brown area surrounding the nipple).
Typically What Are the Requirements to be a Reconstruction Surgery Candidate?
Pre-surgical requirements for breast reconstruction surgery are as follows:
•Your general health – you must obtain a general health clearance from your physician for surgery
•The diagnosis and stage of the breast cancer
•The type of cancer treatment you have or will receive
•The size of your natural breast
•The quantity of tissue that is necessary for a flap procedure
•Whether or not you require the reconstructed breast to appear the same as the opposite breast
•Your choice, if an option, of bi-lateral surgery for breast reconstruction
•Your choice of reconstruction procedure(s)
•Your option of whether or not to have breast implants inserted
•The type and size of your implant(s)
•Insurance coverage for reconstructive breast surgery and related costs for the afflicted breast(s) and non afflicted breast
What Are the Different Types of Reconstructive Breast Surgery?
There are several options available to women who are seeking breast reconstruction. Surgery may or may not include the insertion of a breast implant/s such as a saline or gel breast implant. Surgery may be performed in conjunction with a newly shaped breast (implant) or a tissue flap (utilizes your own body tissues, fat and muscle from other areas of your body typically the back, stomach or other available areas where sufficient excess exists) or may entail a combination of both of these procedures. Your licensed (preferably) board-certified plastic surgeon will discuss all the reconstruction options that are available to you after a thorough examination of you, your medical history and an in-depth consultation with you.