Breast reconstruction is a procedure that is typically done to re-form the breasts following a surgery like a lumpectomy or mastectomy. If you’re interested in breast reconstruction, you probably have questions about the different options available for this highly personalized surgery. Here we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the treatment.
There are three main ways to perform a breast reconstruction, using:
- Your own body tissue
- A synthetic implant
- A combination of the two
Reconstruction typically requires multiple surgeries performed over time.
Several factors affect the most ideal breast reconstruction method for you. These include:
- The shape of your body
- Your treatment needs
- Your current health situation
- Your past surgeries
- Personal preferences
A consultation with a surgeon is the best way to learn more about your specific options and discuss any concerns you may have. Dr. Lorraine Golosow is a board-certified plastic surgeon who provides natural, beautiful breast reconstruction services to mastectomy and lumpectomy patients.
During a consultation with Dr. Golosow, you’ll talk about the benefits and risks of different breast reconstruction procedures. You’ll also tell her what you’re hoping to achieve in terms of cosmetic results.
No. There is usually not a medical reason that you need to have breast reconstruction done. Many patients decide that reconstruction is not their ideal path after learning more about their options and treatment plan timeline. Other patients show interest at first but ultimately decide they don’t want more surgical procedures and recovery.
Some breast cancer patients use a prosthetic breast to help their clothing fit better and keep their figure feeling feminine. The most important thing for breast cancer survivors is to have a cancer-free life. But feeling good about your appearance is also important for many patients.
Breast reconstruction happens over multiple surgeries. Different people may need different numbers of surgeries. The timeline can also be complicated if you’re undergoing additional cancer treatment at the same time.
No matter which procedure you use, the process can take anywhere from six months to a year. That’s assuming you don’t need additional cancer treatment.
An average timeline looks like this:
- A surgery is done to create the new breast.
- Healing takes around three months. It takes longer if you’re undergoing radiation or chemotherapy treatment.
- A surgery is done to refine the balance and make small alterations to the breast.
- Healing takes about two or three months, depending on the extensiveness.
- This procedure might be repeated if necessary, until the breast is well-shaped and balanced.
- A surgery is done to add an areola and nipple to the breast.
Some patients choose not to have their nipple reconstructed.
During your consultation with Dr. Golosow, you can ask questions including:
- What types of construction are available for me? Which do you think is best for my case?
- How many reconstruction procedures have you performed?
- What complications should I be concerned about?
- How difficult will it be to care for the wound post-surgery?
Although treatments for breast cancer like mastectomy or lumpectomy are critical to helping you fight this terrible disease, they can have a dramatic impact on the way you see yourself. To help you feel like the person you were pre-treatment, a breast reconstruction can help. Call Dr. Golosow at 239-330-6448 or contact us online to learn more about this surgery and how it can change your life.