Breast reconstruction aims to rebuild the lost breast and can be achieved through implantation. The surgeon makes an incision around the nipple and removes the breast tissue. In early stages of cancer, the original nipple may be preserved by making the incision under or around it. In advanced stages, the surgeon may also remove the necessary lymph nodes from under the arm. The breast can be filled with tissues and nodes from other parts of the body or with a silicon implant, which allows for tissue regeneration and healing.
Can I have a Reconstructive Surgery at the Same Time as a Mastectomy?
Before undergoing a mastectomy, it is recommended to obtain an estimate for the surgery, review your reports with a local doctor who is familiar with your medical history, and get confirmation from at least three board-certified doctors. Breast reconstruction is typically performed after the mastectomy is complete. If the patient is undergoing a skin-sparing mastectomy, the breast, nipple, and lymph nodes are removed, but the skin remains intact. The process of breast reconstruction can begin within six hours of the mastectomy. The total time for both surgeries is approximately six hours.
Immediate reconstruction is a process where one can have the reconstructive surgery at the same time as the mastectomy. This allows you to avoid an additional surgery and return to a normal life sooner. Both procedures take place within a few hours and are performed under local anesthesia. You will wake up to a new breast or breasts, which is easier and more beneficial than not undergoing the reconstructive surgery. Additionally, the psychological stability gained from immediate reconstruction is why many doctors recommend it over delaying the reconstruction procedure.”
What Should Be Kept In Mind While Undergoing A Reconstructive Surgery At The Same Time As a Mastectomy?
Contact Specialists: It’s important to consult with your oncologist, breast cancer surgeon, oncology treatment team, and cosmetic surgeon to determine the best option for you. It’s always advisable to seek a second opinion from these professionals, as they will play a role in your decision-making process.
Healing Time: If you opt for an implant-based reconstructive surgery after mastectomy, you will require a shorter healing time. You won’t need to go through another surgery, and there will be fewer scarring locations. However, you may lose sensation in the reconstructed breast. If you prefer to maintain the sensation of a natural breast, you can opt for a tissue-based reconstruction that uses healthy tissues from other parts of your body.
Knowledge of the Disease: Before deciding on immediate reconstruction alongside mastectomy, it’s crucial to understand the type of breast cancer you have, the condition of the affected tissue(s), and the experience of the plastic surgeon.