Getting a breast cancer diagnosis can be scary. Many times, after surviving breast cancer, your self-confidence and your body are left changed. Breast reconstruction can help you return to your pre-cancer self.
Breast reconstruction restores the shape, appearance, symmetry, and size of one or both breasts after surgical cancer treatment. Two types of surgical cancer treatment are:
- Mastectomy, or the removal of tissue from one or both breasts
- Lumpectomy, or the removal of cancer that leaves most of the breast skin and tissue untouched
Sometimes, breast cancer only affects one breast. In this case, reconstruction may involve only the affected breast. The unaffected breast may require a procedure (like breast lift, breast reduction, or breast augmentation) to improve the symmetry of both breasts. Breast symmetry includes their size, shape, and position.
Types of Reconstruction
Breast reconstruction can begin at the time of the mastectomy (immediate reconstruction). Reconstruction can also happen after incisions from the mastectomy have healed and treatment for breast cancer is complete (delayed reconstruction). This can happen any time after the mastectomy.
There are a variety of types of reconstruction to fit your needs.
- Implant-based reconstruction uses an implant to create a new breast.
- Flap reconstruction, also known as autologous reconstruction, uses your own tissue from another part of the body to create a new breast. Two types of flap reconstruction are TRAM/DIEP flap and latissimus flap.
- Oncoplasty is a newer technique that combines plastic surgery and surgical oncology.
Should I Get Breast Reconstruction?
Here are some of the many reasons why women choose breast reconstruction every year:
1. You’ll Regain Your Breast Shape
After reconstruction, your breasts will be permanently restored. They will look and feel like they did before your surgical cancer treatment. You won’t have to worry about avoiding certain clothes or activities. You will look great all the time.
2. You’ll Look Balanced and Natural in Swimwear
Even when you’re in your swimsuit, you’ll look and feel great. No more struggling with a swimming prosthesis, spending extra money on a mastectomy swimsuit, or sitting on your towel and missing out on all the fun.
3. Your Clothes Will Fit Again
Have your blouses and dresses looked not quite right recently? Breast reconstruction will help fix that. Your clothes will flatter you in a way that they haven’t since you began cancer treatment.
4. You Won’t Need an External Prosthesis
Breast prostheses are expensive and inconvenient. It can be a hassle to purchase activity-specific prostheses, like those specifically designed for swimming. Taking a vacation and leaving a prosthesis at home can make for ill-fitting clothes at best and an awkward, uncomfortable trip at worst.
5. You’ll Have More Body Confidence
After breast cancer treatment, you may not look or feel like yourself. Breast reconstruction can improve your self-confidence and return you to your pre-cancer body. You may feel more like your old self every time you look in a mirror.
Ready to Restore Your Breasts?
Finding the right plastic surgeon for your reconstruction is important. Dr. Madry offers many kinds of reconstructions. During your consultation, Dr. Madry will partner with you to find the type of breast reconstruction that best meets your needs. Breast reconstruction consultations are usually covered by insurance. Schedule a consultation today.