Following a life-altering mastectomy, it’s unlikely that your breasts will ever look the same again. At Cosmetique, Dr. Gotkin performs breast reconstruction to restore a normal size, shape and appearance to your chest. If you’re considering breast reconstruction, we’d be proud to help you on your journey toward recovery.
Almost any woman who has undergone breast cancer surgery is a good candidate for breast reconstruction. There are several methods of breast reconstruction and the best type for you will depend on several factors such as:
Many breast reconstruction procedures are performed immediately after your mastectomy. If you require radiation treatments, it may significantly impact the timing, and in most cases the type of breast reconstruction recommended. We can work alongside your breast surgeon and oncologist to determine the best breast reconstruction options available for you.
Not all women choose to undergo breast reconstruction following breast cancer, but many feel their scars are a constant reminder of the past. Breast reconstruction can restore your figure and help you move forward after breast cancer.
Breast reconstruction can be performed at the same time as your mastectomy or at a later date. There are two distinct types of breast reconstruction: autologous (flap) reconstruction and breast implant reconstruction. These methods can be performed alone or combined to achieve your goals. Multiple procedures are usually necessary to achieve a satisfactory cosmetic outcome.
Prior to surgery, the anesthesiologist will administer general anesthesia. During flap-based breast reconstruction, we harvest tissue from one part of your body (e.g., abdomen, back or buttocks) and transplant it to your chest to create a new breast. During breast implant reconstruction, we insert a saline or silicone breast implant behind the chest muscle. If you do not have enough tissue left following your mastectomy, a tissue expander, similar to a balloon, may be inserted several weeks in advance to slowly help your body “grow” additional skin to support the breast implants.
Your recovery will vary depending on the type of surgery performed. When you wake up from surgery, it is normal to experience some bruising, swelling and general discomfort. There are usually drains to remove excessive fluid from the operative site. Most patients require a hospital stay for the first few days of recovery. We will provide you with specific aftercare instructions before you leave the hospital.
You will need to wear a special soft surgical bra for the first few weeks. Prescription pain medication and antibiotics will also be provided to minimize discomfort and your risk of a post-surgical infection. You can gradually begin resuming light physical activity right away, but you should plan on at least a month off from work and other normal routines. Rigorous physical activity should be avoided for 6-8 weeks.
We will discuss all the risks associated with breast reconstruction with you prior to surgery so that you can make an informed decision. It is important to note that the risks vary according to the type of breast reconstruction procedure performed, implant or flap.
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