Breast Cancer and Plastic Surgery: Know your options

Why is it important to talk about life after a mastectomy? If you had a mastectomy or are considering the surgery as part of your breast cancer treatment, you have the choice to get breast reconstruction surgery afterward in order to rebuild your breasts.

For thousands of women who receive a breast cancer diagnosis or are discussing options in how to deal with their genetic predisposition to this disease, a mastectomy is often one of the best and most effective treatments discussed. Unfortunately, when planning the procedure, these women don’t receive all the necessary information regarding reconstructive surgery. Breast reconstruction is a procedure that restores or replaces breast tissue lost during a mastectomy. And it is important to talk about it!

Here at VIDA Wellness and Beauty Center, we understand that too many thoughts and feelings are running through your head… While it is more than normal to feel emotional and overwhelmed upon a cancer diagnosis, it is important to discuss with your doctor the aesthetic impact a mastectomy will have on your body. A lot of patients don’t discuss this with their oncologists or primary care physicians because they feel guilt or shame for worrying about their physical appearance.

There are however valuable benefits to breast reconstruction for women: feeling confident again, recovering a sense of femininity often associated with breasts and even being more comfortable when wearing certain garments. Our plastic and reconstructive surgeons have extensive expertise in reconstructive breast surgery. They know the importance of feeling like yourself again after a mastectomy, and thanks to their constant training, and advances in cosmetic surgery, they can give patients a look close to their natural one. A shape you’ll feel comfortable with after having a mastectomy.

This motivated us to create this simple guide to help you consider your breast reconstruction alternatives after having a mastectomy. Because, whether you decide to puruse it or not, it is important to know and evaluate your options!

In this video, our technician Tania Murrieta explains about areola repigmentation, offered at VIDA Wellness and Beauty: 

 

Timing. One of the first things you should know is that it is possible to have breast reconstructive surgery immediately following the mastectomy, months or even years after. The best timing? It depends on you, your health, any additional treatment you need and the type of mastectomy you’re having (Or had). If you haven’t discussed this, once your oncologist has cleared you to have surgery, you can explore the option.

Our expert surgeons recommend planning ahead, if possible, from the time you start considering getting a mastectomy. A breast reconstructive surgery can be done with either of these techniques: implant reconstruction, autologous or flap reconstruction using tissue from another part of your body, or a combination of both. By being a procedure different to Breast Augmentation, expect more than one visit to your reconstructive surgeon. With an initial surgery, and depending on the type of mastectomy you had, your surgeon might place a tissue expander in order to stretch your skin. During a second operation, the surgeon removes the tissue expander and places your permanent breast implants. If you choose an autologous reconstruction, your surgeon will discuss and evaluate with you which area of your body could be a good tissue donor, such as your inner thighs, tummy or buttocks.

Always keep in mind that any option you make along your surgeon will take time and patience. Our VIDA surgeons take great care in discussing patient’s aesthetic goals, risks, and post-op care so you can make an informed decision. When considering reconstructive surgery, it is vital that you feel comfortable with your surgeon. Choose a doctor who has experience in these procedures, who always puts your health and satisfaction first and someone who will be honest when managing your expectations.

Our reconstructive surgeons and medical staff are available to answer any questions, whether you are exploring the possibility to have a mastectomy or it’s been a while since you had it. Call us at 619 610 1667 so we can help you make an informed decision!