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What to Know About Breast Reconstruction Surgery

Surgical Breast / October 22, 2020

Self-esteem is an essential part of mental health, and the way you feel about your breasts can sometimes be a huge factor in your confidence. For breast cancer patients, it can be overwhelming to think about how you’ll feel about your body after a surgical procedure to remove breast tissue. One extremely beneficial option is breast reconstruction for this reason.

Breast cancer treatment involves procedures like lumpectomy and mastectomy. Lumpectomy is the surgical removal of part of the breast, including the tumor and the surrounding portion of the tumorous breast tissue.  Radiation therapy is typically recommended after lumpectomy.  On the other hand, mastectomy involves the surgical removal of the whole breast to prevent breast cancer and further spreading. These removal procedures could be done on one or both breasts. Whatever treatment process you choose, your reconstructive surgeon can discuss your best options for breast reconstruction.

What is Breast Reconstruction?

Breast reconstruction is a type of surgery that involves reshaping or rebuilding the breasts after a lumpectomy or mastectomy. The procedure can be done immediately after, or your reconstructive surgeon may recommend a waiting period. It’s often performed using a combination of tissue flaps and implants, although your reconstructive surgeon may decide that a single method is best.  Silicone and saline implants are the most common implants in use, and typically a tissue expander is first placed to prepare an adequate space for the reconstructive implant.

Breast Reconstruction Options

Your breast reconstruction options will depend on factors such as your body type, type of mastectomy or lumpectomy, and the type of cancer treatment. The most common options include flap surgery and implant surgery. These are based on the type of tissue used in the rebuilding or reshaping of the breasts. Flap surgery involves the use of tissue flap while implant surgery involves the use of silicone or saline implants.

In Flap surgery, your reconstructive surgeon will obtain tissue from a different part of your body, such as the back, abdomen, or buttock. This is a more complicated procedure compared to implant surgery.  Flap surgery has two options; pedicle flap surgery and free flap surgery. In free flap, the tissue and the blood vessels supplying it are completely removed and transferred to the chest. The removed blood vessels are then attached to the blood vessels in the breast. In contrast, in the pedicle flap, the tissue is not completely removed from the vessels supplying it. The tissue remains intact and is rotated into the shape of a breast. Your reconstructive surgeon will give you the best indication of which option is best for you and your cancer treatment plan.

Why Choose Breast Reconstruction?

Breast reconstruction surgery has been proven in many clinical studies to improve self-confidence after lumpectomy, mastectomy, and other breast cancer surgical procedures. It does this by restoring the normal shape and size of breasts, as well as a sense of normalcy and femininity to your body. If only one or both breasts underwent lumpectomy or mastectomy, reconstruction helps balance your chest. This means you can avoid having to use prosthetics or special bras since your reconstructed breasts may be very similar to a natural breast shape and appearance. 

Schedule a Consultation

At EVOLV, we’re excited to help you on your journey toward recovery and feeling comfortable with your body. To meet with Dr. Barone and discuss your best options for breast reconstruction, we invite you to contact our Toledo office by calling or filling out our online form.