When a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, most often she opts for a mastectomy to better her chances at survival. She could go in for a single mastectomy or a double mastectomy. For women going through this, losing such a significant part of their body comes with a severe emotional impact.
Many women often fall into depression as they lose their sense of femininity and begin struggling with body image issues. This is a normal thing for many women to go through after undergoing a mastectomy. Fortunately, a breast reconstruction surgery can help ease a woman’s transition from a cancer patient to a cancer survivor.
How Does Breast Reconstruction Help?
Breast reconstruction is beneficial in many ways:
• It enables a woman to get her natural body shape back
• It creates a balance and restores symmetry in her appearance
• It takes away the worry of constantly having to find external prosthetics to fit into a bra to create the appearance of breasts
• It allows women to wear swimsuits and low-necks without feeling overly self-conscious
• It helps a woman feel more positive about their bodily image
The Breast Reconstruction Procedure
Breast Reconstruction is carried out in two ways:
1. By inserting implants – In this procedure, a saline/silicone implant is inserted into the breast tissue to restore volume to the breast area.
2. Autologous flap reconstruction – This technique involves borrowing tissue from other parts of your body like your thighs, abdomen, or back to reconstruct your breast. Implants may or may not be used in this procedure.
In order to begin the process, the best approach would be to go in for a consultation with the surgeon who will be performing your breast reconstruction surgery. They can give you an idea about the reconstruction procedure best suited for your body and how long you can expect it to take to heal.
Things to Remember About the Breast Reconstruction
The breast reconstruction surgery is an invasive procedure that will leave post-surgical marks. However, your doctor will place the incisions to limit their visibility. Over the course of time, they will begin to fade away to some degree.
After undergoing the surgery, some women may struggle with a lack of nipple sensation for a period of time.
If you are a smoker, you will need to quit at least two months before and after the reconstruction surgery as smoking affects the healing process.
You can choose to get your breast reconstruction surgery done along with your mastectomy or wait until after to get it done separately. Whatever the case may be, informing your surgeon about the course of action you will take will help them choose the best treatment technique to use for you.
Contact Our Office
A mastectomy can lower a woman’s self-confidence in her body image. A breast reconstruction surgery can help restore confidence in your body and enable you to transition more ably into a cancer-free life. If you’re interested in learning more about breast reconstruction after a mastectomy, contact our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Haven Barlow today!