Receiving Breast Reconstruction Surgery Following a Mastectomy

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Women potentially hold many roles in life, including the act of being a daughter, niece, aunt, grandmother, wife, and mother. No matter what role, a woman’s inner strength may not shine until a time of need. For some women, the time is during diagnosis, treatment, and recovery after breast cancer. When diagnosed with breast cancer, women must battle for those around them, and even more importantly, themselves. Breast cancer isn’t an easy diagnosis to bear and breast reconstruction can help you take the steps toward regaining a sense of femininity.

According to the American Cancer Society, there are more than 2.6 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. Many women, however; are unaware of their breast reconstruction options after mastectomy. Many states require insurance companies to cover breast reconstruction following a mastectomy. In light of this news, many more breast cancer survivors can restore their feminine curves with breast reconstruction options.

One of the most rewarding surgical procedures, breast reconstruction can be performed immediately after mastectomy, and includes options such as saline or silicone implants with skin expansion or autologous flap reconstruction.

Skin expansion uses salt-water injection to gradually fill the expander over several weeks or months. After the chest is sufficiently enlarged, a more permanent implant will replace the expander. Implant options include silicone, which contain silicone gel, or saline, filled with salt-water solution.

As an alternative approach, one can receive flap reconstruction, which involves taking tissue from other parts of the body, retaining the blood supply, and inserting the body’s natural fat for the implant. Your plastic surgeon can help you when choosing the best method to suit your individual needs.

Some women find unsatisfactory results with their reconstruction surgery using implants or flap procedures. Now, we can remove excess fat from targeted areas of the body, harvest viable natural fat cells, and inject them into the breast in order to enhance breast contour or augment breast size. Since we are using the patient’s own natural fat, the results have the potential to look and feel more natural, and last forever.

Not all women choose to have reconstructive surgery directly after their mastectomy procedure. Some patients may even be advised to wait when there are other health concerns, such as obesity, high blood pressure, and/or smoking. When ready to receive breast reconstructive surgery, your plastic surgeon can discuss the best options for you and your body.

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