Introduction to Breast Reconstruction Surgery
Breast reconstruction surgery aims to restore the shape, size, and symmetry of the breasts, enhancing physical appearance and helping to restore confidence and emotional well-being for individuals who have undergone breast cancer treatment or experienced other conditions requiring breast removal.
Various techniques can be used for breast reconstruction, including:
This involves the use of breast implants to recreate the breast mound. It may require the use of expandable implants to gradually stretch the skin before the final implant placement.
Autologous Tissue Reconstruction
Also known as flap reconstruction, this technique utilizes the patient's own tissue, typically from the abdomen (DIEP or TRAM flap), back (latissimus dorsi flap), or thighs (TUG flap), to create the new breast. The tissue is transferred to the chest area and reshaped to form the breast mound.
The choice of the reconstruction technique depends on various factors, including your overall health, body shape, available donor sites for tissue transfer, preferences, and the types of treatments you had for your breast cancer.
Breast reconstruction can be performed at the same time as the mastectomy (immediate reconstruction) or as a separate procedure conducted months, or even years after the mastectomy (delayed reconstruction). The timing depends on factors such as the patient's cancer treatment plan, individual circumstances, and personal preferences.
It's worth noting that breast reconstruction is a complex process that often requires multiple stages and can involve subsequent procedures to refine the shape and symmetry of the reconstructed breast, as well as nipple and areola reconstruction. Often surgery is required to the other breast to get the best possible symmetry between the two breasts.
Key Details of the Procedure
- Duration: 2 to 8 hours
- Cost: $17000 to $80000
- Anaesthetic: General anaesthetic
- Length of stay: 1 to 5 days
Post-Surgery Care and Downtime
- Showering: You can shower the wounds 48 hours after surgery.
- Exercise: Depends on type of surgery.
- Driving: Depends on type of surgery.
- Work: You can return to desk-based work 1-2 weeks after surgery.
Frequently Asked Questions about Breast Reconstruction Surgery
What is the purpose of breast reconstruction surgery?
Breast reconstruction surgery is primarily performed to restore the shape, size, and symmetry of the breasts for individuals who have undergone breast cancer treatment or experienced other conditions requiring breast removal.
What can I expect during recovery?
After surgery, you may experience some discomfort and swelling in the surgical area. These symptoms can be managed with prescribed pain medication. The exact recovery timeline can vary depending on the type of surgery performed.
Will there be visible scarring after the surgery?
The incisions for breast reconstruction surgery are typically made in areas that can be concealed by a bra or swimsuit. Over time, the scars will fade and become less noticeable.
What are the potential risks and complications of breast reconstruction surgery?
As with any surgical procedure, breast reconstruction surgery carries potential risks and complications. These can include infection, bleeding, asymmetry, implant complications, flap failure, delayed healing and changes in breast sensation. Mr Butler will discuss each of the potential risks with you in detail during your consultation.
How long will I need to stay in the hospital after surgery?
The typical hospital stay after breast reconstruction surgery is 1 to 5 days. This allows for adequate monitoring and management of any immediate post-operative complications.