Breast Reconstruction

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer found in women. Women with breast cancer may be required to go through operation so that tumor tissue or the whole breast can be removed by surgery. This may lead to traumatic results at times. As a result, the patient can feel less feminine or incomplete. Mastectomy is the medical term for the surgical removal of the breast, partially or completely because of breast cancer

Breast reconstruction surgeries can be administered in conjunction with mastectomy and can help patients easing the effects of breast loss psychologically.

How is breast reconstruction surgery administered?

Breast reconstruction can be administered by using different methods. The most preferred method is to enlarge the skin along with mastectomy. It is a progressive surgery. For this practice, after the mastectomy, the surgeon puts a prosthesis under the skin to enlarge the skin. The prosthesis set under the skin is injected salted water after the operation by the doctor. This process can take for weeks and continue until the skin enlarges to the requested extent. After achieving the desired enlargement on that area, the prosthesis is removed with a second operation and replaced with a permanent prosthesis. Flap reconstruction method involves recreating the breast by tissues removed from the other areas of the body. Sometimes prosthesis must be put under this tissue. It is also a progressive surgery. Recovery time of this surgery is longer and it will leave more scars compared to the skin enlargement method. The advantage of flap reconstruction method is the natural look it gives to breasts.

Who can have this breast reconstruction surgery?

Although patients whose cancer tissue is completely removed are more suitable for surgery, it is a method which can be applied for all the patients who had mastectomy surgery.

What happens after the surgery?

Breast reconstruction surgery makes significant changes in the social life and general look of the patients. A study conducted in the USA shows that 98% of people who had this surgery will prefer to receive the same treatment when required. There may be slight differences between the newly constructed breast and healthy breast which can be observed only by the patient but those differences cannot be noticed by other people. The aim of the surgery is to create a breast as similar as a natural one.

How is the post-operative healing process like?

Breast reconstruction surgery is administered under general anesthesia and hospital conditions. The duration varies depending on the preferred method. While method in which breast prosthesis is used takes one or two hours, flap reconstruction method may take four or ten hours. The patient stays in hospital for one or three days if breast prosthesis method is used but flap reconstruction method requires the patient to stay in hospital for four or seven days. Drains which are put during the operation in order to evacuate the plethora are removed one or four days after the surgery. If silicone prosthesis is used for surgery, the patient resumes her life in a few days, while it may take a week if flap reconstruction method is preferred. Patients should avoid lifting heavy things, having sexual intercourse or driving for four or eight weeks after the surgery. Bruises, swelling and aches will fade away day by day. Your surgeon will inform you the time when you can begin physical activities. As a general rule, patients are advised not to have sexual intercourse and heavy physical activity.

Will other surgeries be required after breast reconstruction?

Breast reconstruction surgeries are completed in a few separate sessions. Following breast reconstruction; flap revision, breast lift, breast reduction and silicone prosthesis implementation may also be planned.