What You Need to Know about Breast Reconstruction Surgery
Breast cancer can lead to life long scars that a woman has to carry all her life, both emotionally and physically. Advancements and breakthroughs in the medical field have increased survival rates with considerable help from increasing awareness and early detection and diagnosis. A lot of these survivors who have lost one or both their breasts to mastectomy, choose to undergo the procedure of breast reconstruction in order to re-connect with their prior selves and get on with their lives as before. They see this surgery as a symbol for the reclamation of their lives and celebration of their womanhood.
Breast reconstruction surgery involves the construction of new breasts for breast cancer survivors who have undergone mastectomy or radiation as well as women with certain genetic disorders that require such surgeries.
Breast reconstruction procedure
Cancer patients who are undergoing a mastectomy have the option of getting a breast reconstruction surgery at the same time or have a separate reconstructive surgery a few months after the mastectomy.
During the reconstruction procedure, the patient is under the influence of general anesthesia. Then the surgeon may proceeds either with the flap technique or tissue expansion for implantation required for remaking the breasts.
The flap technique is used when the mastectomy and radiation have not left enough tissue on the chest and hence prove insufficient for providing adequate support for the implants. Fat, skin and muscle from the patient’s own lower abdomen or buttocks is extracted to build a breast mound or to cover it. New and improved flap techniques include deep inferior epigastric perforator also known as DIEP and transverse myocutaneous gracilis also known as TMG.
Tissue expansion as the name suggests stretches or expands healthy and good quality skin of the chest through the use of an expander surgically placed in the area. This procedure requires comparatively less healing time that the flap technique but is more time consuming and may require two surgeries.
Breast implants, either saline or silicone are used in conjunction with the flap technique or can be a stand alone treatment. The consulting surgeon is the person who will help you make the right decision regarding the ideal solution for you.
Dr. Farbod Esmailian is one of the most renowned breast reconstruction specialist in Orange County, California. Understanding the trauma of being a cancer patient and the health factors that have to be taken into account for these surgeries, he collaborates with your oncologist to decide on the best course of action for you without jeopardizing your health and life. He has had extensive experience with the use of the advanced flap techniques and other methods in order to deliver the best possible results.
Candidates for breast reconstruction surgery
Breast reconstruction surgery is a highly personal choice and the decision to go for one should ideally be based on your own desire to re-connect with yourself and get emotionally healed. Going through a reconstruction surgery is not easy especially after the pain and trauma of the cancer treatment. It should only be undertaken if you have been able to handle your illness with a positive attitude, have no other medical conditions and are reasonable about the results of the breast reconstruction surgery. You can ask your surgeon for before and after breast reconstruction photos to get a clear idea of the results. Any surgeon who has experience in handling such surgeries or breast augmentation surgeries is ideal.