Breast reconstruction is a type of surgery that is carried out after a breast is removed in breast cancer patients. It is also known as mastectomy. The body usually needs some time to heal before the reconstruction surgery can be done. The surgery also depends on the amount of breast tissue that was removed during the mastectomy procedure. The location and size of the tumor is the deciding factor for the removal of the breast.
Breast Reconstruction Options
There are many choices when it comes to breast reconstruction surgery. Your doctor and oncologist is the best person to discuss these options with you and he or she will choose the appropriate one.
Placing breast implants is one way of restoring the breast tissue that was surgically removed to combat breast cancer. A cut is made under the skin, in and around the breast area and the implant is inserted. This is done by stretching the skin using a tissue expander to insert the implant and in the case of a saline implant, the expander is filled with the saline solution. The implants can be either silicone shell filled with sterile saline or silicone shell filled with silicone gel. The use of silicone gel implants were discontinued for a while due to leakage. Even though the FDA banned the implants for a while, it is currently being used after the ban was lifted as recent studies show any risks involving silicone implants are minimal. New silicone implants are now available with a thicker gel known as cohesive gel which prevents leakage after it is inserted.
Tissue Flap Procedure
Under this procedure, tissue from the back, tummy, buttocks or thighs is used for reconstructing the breast tissue. When tissue from the abdomen is used for this purpose, it is known as TRAM flap (Transverse Rectus Abdominis Muscle flap). When the tissue is used from the upper back it is known as latissimus dorsi flap. These procedures leave scars on the site from where the tissue was taken as well as where it was implanted. Although the scars fade away, they do not go away completely. Flap procedures are not carried out on women with diabetes, vascular disease or connective tissue disease as healthy blood vessels for the supply for the supply of blood to the tissues is important.
Immediate or Delayed Breast Reconstruction: Making a Choice
Today women have the choice to undergo a breast reconstruction surgery either immediately after mastectomy or do it later on. However this decision is greatly influenced by your state and what the doctor seems fit and appropriate for your body. Some of the factors upon which your breast reconstruction surgery is dependent;
- Size of natural breast
- Size of the cancer
- Your medical condition
- Amount of tissue available to undergo reconstructive surgery
- If there is a possibility of cancer recurrence
An immediate surgery ensures a better result as the tissues in the chest area are not damaged by radiation and the procedure is done along with the mastectomy. A delayed reconstruction surgery causes a delay in the rebuilding, thus taking more time to recuperate. This option is usually chosen for those who need radiation after mastectomy, since radiation after a reconstructive surgery can lead to many other complications.
Thankfully, due to the advancement in science, women can now regain their confidence and boost their self-image by opting for a breast reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy. This is important for the emotional well being of women. Discussing these options with your doctor about the different kinds of reconstruction surgery to find one that is appropriate for you is important.
Author Bio: Ralph Coleman is a medical writer who writes well-researched, in-depth cancer articles which provide relevant information to help patients combat the deadly disease. Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) prides in providing the best cancer treatment solutions to patients who have endured to various cancer types. With cancer centers in Tulsa, Philadelphia, Chicago, Newnan etc. For more information visit their site at http://www.empowereddoctor.com/8025/cancer-treatment-center-newnan-ga/