BREAST RECONSTRUCTION PROCEDURES
Treatment of breast cancer can cause significant deformities such as scars, loss of volume and asymmetries. These deformities can cause significant psychological and social problems that affect confidence, self-esteem and relationships. Many patients report difficulties finding well-suited clothing, poor self-image, feelings of lost femininity, and unattractiveness. Others see in these changes a daily reminder of the cancer they once had.
I provide a wide range plastic surgery procedures that correct these deformities whether they were caused by wide excision or mastectomies. These procedures include, full breast reconstruction using your own tissue or implants, symmetrizing surgery, breast reshaping surgery (mammoplasty), lipomodelling (fat-transfer), nipple reconstruction and more.
Breast Reconstruction: What Are the Options?There are many ways to carry out partial or total breast reconstruction. These are widely divided into:
- Implant based methods, one stage or 2 stages with or without dermal matrix
- Autologous tissue by using your own fat and/or muscles to rebuild a new breast
For each option, careful consideration is given to several factors such as size and type of implant, one-stage or 2-stage surgery, the use of dermal matrix or mesh, best source of tissue from the back, abdomen or other places.
These options are explained and discussed with you to chose the ones that best suit your needs.
Is Breast Reconstruction Right for Me?
A wide range of techniques and procedures are used for partial or total breast reconstruction. Some of these procedures are carried out early at the same time with surgical treatment of cancer (immediate reconstruction, therapeutic mammoplasty), others are done after completing the treatment of cancer (delayed reconstruction, symmetrising surgery).
When carefully chosen, these procedures are excellent options to help women overcome a large variety of physical consequences following the treatment of breast cancer.
If you are concerned about the aesthetic and physical shape of your breasts after the treatment of cancer book a consultation to have an expert and honest opinion.
What Will Happen During the Consultation?
I will take a detailed history of your breast cancer treatments and explore your concerns and requirements.
I will examine your breasts for asymmetry, lumps, and abnormalities and take some measurements.
Then, I’ll discuss various options for the reconstruction and expected outcomes.
If you are a good candidate for a specific surgery, I will explain the procedure in detail, as well as the recovery process, and possible risks and complications.
What Happens on the Day of Surgery?
You can opt to have the surgery as a day case (leaving the same day) or take an overnight stay in one of my hospitals. I will see you before surgery to add some markings to your skin. Then, the anaesthetist will see you and begin the anaesthetic procedure.
During the surgery, you’ll be given a dose of antibiotic to reduce the risk of infection. I will infiltrate the breast using plenty of local anaesthetic to numb the skin and deep tissue.
When you wake up after surgery, you may some tightness in the chest. However, you should not feel any significant pain because of the local anaesthetics. You will be given strong painkillers to take home. These should control all pain and discomfort.
What is the Recovery Process?
You will experience swelling, bruising, and discomfort for the first few days. The pain will be controlled by taking the painkillers on a regular basis. The return to day-to-day and full physical activities will depend on the type of procedure you are having and will be explained to you during the consultation. You should wear a well-fitted support bra and refrain from upper-body physical exercise, or sleeping on your chest, for 6 weeks after surgery.
What Follow-up Do I Get?I will see you at:
- one week after surgery to check the condition of the wounds
- 6-8 weeks after to assess the condition of the scars
- after 6 months to check the shape of the breasts.