Post Mastectomy Breast Reconstruction


Restoring Your Breast Shape

As the name suggests, breast reconstruction surgery aims to restore breast shape, appearance, symmetry and size. Oftentimes, women who have congenital deformities or have undergone a mastectomy or lumpectomy are unsatisfied with the way that the breasts look. Breast reconstruction surgery usually requires more than one procedure, but the results can help women feel more confident and happy with their appearance.

Types Of Breast Reconstruction

There are two general types of breast reconstruction that vary based on the patient’s body type and their history of cancer treatments and/or mastectomy. These procedures include:

  • Implant reconstruction

    Implant reconstruction surgery utilizes breast implants to create a new, natural-looking breast mound. This is a great option for patients who have existing tissue on the chest wall that can support an implant.

  • Flap (or autologous) reconstruction

    Rather than use a breast implant, flap (or autologous) reconstruction surgery takes tissue from another part of the patient’s body, often from the lower abdomen, back tissue and thigh tissue, to create a new breast mound. Flap reconstruction surgery is a great option for patients who do not have enough existing breast tissue to support breast implants. The type of surgery you and Dr. Ghaznavi choose will depend on your specific circumstances.

Who Is A Good Candidate For Breast Reconstruction?

You may be a candidate if you have:

  • Desire to make your chest look balanced
  • Desire to help make clothes fit better
  • No desire to use an external prosthesis
  • Desire to permanently regain your breast shape
  • Desire to reasonably improve your body image
  • Desire to feel better about your body
  • No other serious medical conditions

After a lumpectomy or mastectomy, reconstruction surgery can make you feel better about how you look and renew your self-confidence. However, the reconstructed breast will not be a perfect match or substitute for your natural breast. Talk with Dr. Ghaznavi about scars and changes in shape or contour so you will be prepared.

Drawbacks Of Breast Reconstruction

  • Results are variable
  • Reconstructed breast will not have the same sensation as the breast it replaces. However, Dr. Ghaznavi is a certified ReSensation physician who can perform a procedure to restore your sensation
  • Reconstructed breast will not feel like the breast it replaces
  • You’ll be able to see the incision lines from your reconstruction or mastectomy
  • If you choose to use your own tissue, you will also have incision lines at the donor site, such as the back, abdomen or thighs

Important Things To Consider About Breast Reconstruction

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  • There are two ways that reconstruction procedures can be performed: at the same time as your breast cancer surgery (immediate reconstruction) and after breast cancer surgery (delayed reconstruction).
  • While Dr. Ghaznavi tries to reduce scarring wherever possible, some scarring will occur at the incision sites.
  • Patients who undergo surgery are at risk of developing necrosis. Necrosis occurs when poor blood flow causes breast skin or flaps to die, which can slow down the healing process and necessitate further surgery.
  • There are several factors that can impact how successfully you heal from post-mastectomy breast reconstruction surgery, including previous surgeries, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Lifestyle factors can also impact your recovery, such as chronic conditions, obesity and using tobacco products. In some cases, patients are ineligible for reconstruction based on these factors. Dr. Ghaznavi will thoroughly review your medical history before determining whether you are a good candidate for this procedure.
  • In addition to reconstruction, Dr. Ghaznavi might also recommend surgery to reshape the breasts, also known as a symmetrizing procedure.
  • Women who have undergone radiation therapy or will undergo radiation therapy may have limited surgery options. Dr. Ghaznavi will be able to determine which surgery options are right for you.
  • It is important to have realistic expectations when it comes to surgery.

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