Awareness of Reconstructive Surgery For Breast Cancer Survivors
Patients with Breast cancer are often called up to make difficult choices at various points of diagnosis and treatment. The toughest decision is obviously to get rid of the body of cancerous growth by undergoing mastectomy. An essential part of the treatment breast cancer treatment plan is removing tumors but many women are petrified by the idea of mastectomy as it can have a severe impact on them, both physically and psychologically.
Mastectomy Can Impact Quality Of Life
Many women say that while mastectomy is one of the best ways of getting rid of cancerous growth in the breasts permanently, the way it changes their physical appearance is something that’s hard to accept. Some of them complain of a feeling of emptiness and being incomplete. Mastectomy can have some impact on the quality of life of women.
Women for whom mastectomy is unavoidable must be made aware of breast reconstructive surgery and its benefits. This can help them make the right decisions and also give them new hope of leading a near-normal life post-surgery. As breasts represent the very core and essence of femininity for most women, breast reconstructive surgery can come as a huge relief.
What Is Breast Reconstruction
Breast reconstruction involves creation of a new mound in the shape of breasts using plastic/cosmetic surgery procedures. It can be done after removal of whole breast or part of a breast. Reconstructive surgery for breasts can be done simultaneously with the breast cancer surgery or after some months or even years when the patient is ready for the reconstruction procedure. Breast reconstruction may involve undergoing a series of operations so that patients get the best possible results.
The Options Available
When it comes to Breast reconstruction, cosmetic surgeons generally offer two options to patients. The first one is implant-based reconstruction while the second option is called flap reconstruction. The first option makes use of breast implants to create a new breast mound. In flap reconstruction, the surgeon makes use of tissues drawn from another part of the body of the patient. The tissues are used to form a new breast.
Surgeons also take into consideration a few other important factors while choosing the right breast reconstructive surgery option for women. These are:
- Type of mastectomy the patient suffers from
- The kind of cancer treatments provided
- The body type of the patient
If a patient has problem with one breast, it is possible to reconstruct the affected one alone. To ensure symmetry, the cosmetic surgeon may recommend additional procedures such as breast lift, breast reduction or augmentation, as might be necessary. This can help in maintaining the shape and size of both breasts as well as their position.
What Instructions You Must Follow
Your surgeon will give you or your caretaker, specific instructions that must be stringently followed post breast reconstructive surgery. The instructions will include post-operative care, applying or topical medications, taking oral medications, making changes to your daily routine and general lifestyle to ensure fast healing and speedy recovery. The surgeon will also provide instructions on how to minimize the risk elements during post-operative care.
If you are a breast cancer survivor and have undergone mastectomy, you can take solace from the fact that breast reconstructive surgery is now an option exercised by most women affected by the condition. It helps address a number of issues caused by mastectomy and can help lead a near normal life.
Content Reviewed by – Asian Hospital Medical Editors