Regaining your feminine form is an important step on the road to recovering from breast cancer, and breast reconstruction helps women do just that every day by restoring natural breast contours and normal breast appearance.
Is breast reconstruction right for you?
There is no reason why women today should have to live without breasts after a mastectomy or extensive lumpectomy. Whether you choose to have an immediate reconstruction performed at the same time as your mastectomy, or a delayed reconstruction performed after mastectomy recovery when all cancer treatments are complete, breast reconstruction surgery is always an option.
During consultation, Dr. Weston will describe all available breast reconstruction options and help you decide which to pursue based on a health assessment and thorough review of your medical history.
What to expect during breast reconstruction
Breast reconstruction may be performed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with IV sedation. The surgical procedure performed will be one of the following or a combination, depending on what you and Dr. Weston chose during consultation:
- Breast implants with or without tissue expansion
- A flap procedure, including Latissimus Dorsi flap, TRAM flap, DIEP flap, GAP flap, and other free flaps
Breast implants merely require insertion, however the flap procedures are more complex. They involve transferring donor fat, muscle and skin from one area of your body to the breast area. Sometimes, flap procedures are combined with breast implants.
Once the breast mound has been recreated, you may also decide to pursue nipple and areola reconstruction and cosmetic tattooing to further improve the appearance of your reconstructed breasts.
Recovering from breast reconstruction
Your recovery will depend a lot on how extensive your breast reconstruction procedure was, however you should be able to resume all normal daily activities and an active sex life within six weeks after breast reconstruction. Strenuous exercise should be avoided for a few months, and soreness, pain, bruising and swelling should be expected for at least the first two weeks after surgery.
Follow all post-operative care instructions after breast reconstruction surgery, and be sure to see Dr. Weston for follow-up appointments as often as necessary.