5 Things You Didn’t Know About Breast Reconstruction Surgery
Posted May 03, 2021 in Breast Reconstruction
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There is a lot of misinformation and confusion out there regarding breast reconstruction surgery (usually after mastectomy, lumpectomy, or other trauma). If you are considering this procedure for yourself, here are five important things you may not have known about breast reconstruction surgery.
These five facts may make you feel more confident about your decision and prepare you for your post-mastectomy process.
1. Breast Reconstruction Is More Than Cosmetic
Breast reconstruction has far more than a cosmetic impact on the patient. While not isolated to it, breast reconstruction most commonly follows a cancer diagnosis and the physical removal of the breast(s).
For many women, the experience of seeing themselves without their breast makes an already traumatic experience that much more so, and no woman deserves that.
Several experts have proven that breast reconstruction surgery improves emotional encouragement, restores femininity, and improves psychological wellbeing in women who are interested and candidates.
In fact, experts strongly encourage patients to opt for immediate breast reconstruction (IBR) whenever possible. Tackling this operation in conjunction with the mastectomy can help patients avoid feelings of poor body image, diminished sexual wellbeing, and psychological distress common when waiting for delayed breast reconstruction.
Additionally, patients report reduced anxiety after completing their breast reconstruction.
2. Being Thin Doesn’t Exclude You
Some women may be under the impression that they need to carry some “extra” weight to qualify for a breast reconstruction procedure since many reconstructive procedures involve some extent of tissue flap relocation (either alone or with an implant).
You can still be a candidate even if you are thin. Surgeons can often find ways to use donor tissue from different areas of the body, even in the skinniest patients, and it is very possible (and popular) to reconstruct your breast using only an expander and implant.
While taking tissue from the abdominal or back area is the most common approach, doctors can also source tissue from other areas, such as the thigh(s).
3. A C-Section Doesn’t Disqualify You
Many abdominal surgeries prevent you from being a candidate for a TRAM flap, where the tissue is taken from the abdomen. While a C-section may make this particular technique difficult, there are still several other reconstruction options for you, including implant reconstruction and tissue flaps from the back or thigh.
4. Breast Reconstruction Can Be Performed at Any Time
While there are some benefits to having your breast reconstruction immediately after a mastectomy, you can choose to wait. Some women want to spread out the procedures so they have time to recover from the mastectomy. Additionally, waiting can give you some more time to choose between a breast reconstruction with tissue versus implants.
The great news is that most insurance providers don’t put a time limit on the coverage for breast reconstruction post-mastectomy.
5. Radiation Treatment Doesn’t Disqualify You, But It May Postpone Your Surgery
Some people think that patients who have had radiation treatment can’t undergo breast reconstruction due to the soft tissue changes radiation can cause. This is simply not true.
Instead, your surgery just needs to be postponed until after treatment has finished.
Interested in Learning More?
If you have any more questions or concerns, the best next step is to book a consultation. Dr. Pearce will be happy to sit down with you and address any concerns about breast reconstruction. Schedule a consultation by calling 512-872-5395 or filling out this form.