This procedure is also known as post-mastectomy mammoplasty.
Women suffering from or at increased risk for breast cancer may undergo removal of their breasts (known as Breast lumpectomy). After recovering from this procedure they could opt to recreate their breasts using implants and/or their own body tissues. This reconstruction of their breasts is called reconstructive mammoplasty.
The cancer removal surgery can influence the extent to which the breast reconstructed again, hence, it is important that you discuss your expectations for the reconstructive mammoplasty with a plastic surgeon before you undergo the Breasts lumpectomy.
Numerous individuals who consider a breast reconstruction surgery, if done only for one breast, often consider breast augmentation, Breast lift or breast reduction for the other breast to get a symmetrical look on both sides.
|WHERE IS IT DONE|
INCISIONS, STITCHES & SCARS
Multiple factors influence the outcome of the fully healed scars. These include your age, family history, healing tendency of your body and the technique used to suture the underlying tissues and incisions.
- When a mastectomy is performed without an immediate reconstruction. At a later date plastic surgeon may apply an incision along this healed post mastectomy scar to reopen it and place the implants or tissue flap.
- When a reconstruction is performed along with a mastectomy, the plastic surgeon can intervene to preserve the breast skin to accommodate the implants and/or flap tissue and the incisions can be adjusted to be hidden under the inframammary fold or around the areola. When they are placed around the areola, these small scars can be concealed when the areola is tattooed later on.
- Flap reconstruction procedure often leaves a lengthy scar at the donor site, but this can be concealed under the undergarments. Some cases require lateral or vertical incisions around the areola to accommodate reconstruction. These would leave a scar which could become less visible over time, but it cannot disappear completely.
|STAY AT CLINIC|
HOW IS IT PERFORMED?
Three approaches are available for breast reconstruction:
- By using Breast implants (Saline or Silicone)
- By transfering one’s own Skin, fat and muscle tissue
- A combination of the above two methods
Breast reconstruction is multistep process, allowing the body to heal in between before moving to the next phase.
Using Breast Implants
During the first surgery, a tissue expander will be placed by the surgeon to create ample space for inserting the implant, tissue or both in the future. A tissue expander is a modified saline filled implant into which saline can be injected in increments through a valve from outside over a period of 5 to 6 months, till the skin, muscle pouch reaches the desired size.
Silicone or saline filled implants will be inserted in the created pouch during the second surgery.
In rare cases where the site of implantation of the breast implant is sufficient, the surgeon may directly place the implant without using the tissue expander.
The nipple can be reconstructed by tattooing the area on the reconstructed skin or by grafting the skin from groin area which usually has the same skin color as the nipple.
Breast reconstruction using implants and Acellular Dermal Matrix(ADM)
This is a novel procedure wherein ADM is used as a scaffold for the body tissues to grow into it naturally, eventually, it would be replaced by the body’s own collagen and blood vessels.
This is usually used in addition to a tissue expander.
|REST AT HOME BEFORE RESUMING OFFICE WORK|
|6-7 Weeks after the first surgery|
AFTERCARE AND RECOVERY
The surgeon will give you detailed instructions regarding the normal symptoms that may experience, care of drains (if placed), antibiotic use and any restricted physical activities. It is vital that you follow them to the dot. The time to recover varies greatly among individuals based on their general health.
Sutures will be removed 7-10 days after the surgery.
The surgeon might recommend antibiotics, pain medications and anti-inflammatory drugs for the first 10 to 12 days.
Avoid contact sports and any strenuous exercises for 4 months after the surgery
FOLLOW UP VISITS
Weekly for at least 1 month after the surgery. And at the prescribed time of 2 phase of surgery (if it is planned).
HOW LONG WILL MY RESULTS LAST?
Results from Breast implant placement usually last a long time (the implants come with lifetime warranties from their manufacturers). Recent research studies show that 95% of the operated cases had implants intact after 7 years. However, one more study showed 50% of women who receive implants require an exchange or removal of their implants after 10 years.
If reconstruction is done only for one breast, over time, the other breast may undergo natural ageing and sagging and may droop more than the operated breast.
If reconstruction is done for bilateral mastectomy, the women may have relatively younger looking breasts even in their 80s.
MAINTAIN GOOD COMMUNICATION WITH THE AESTHETIC PLASTIC SURGEON
Keeping safety in mind as well as for the most beautiful outcome of the procedure, we advise that you visit the clinic for post procedure review and evaluation at prescribed times. Also do not hesitate to contact the doctor if you notice any changes in the treatment areas or when you have any concerns and queries.
FOLLOW UP VISITS
Click here for the cost for Breast Reconstruction.
LIMITATIONS & RISKS
Significant complications from Breast Reconstruction, fortunately, are infrequent. Every year, thousands of people undergo this procedure successfully and are glad with the results. The risks specific to your health will be discussed during your consultation.
Some degree of risk will be present with every surgery. Some of the potential complications involved in all surgeries are:
- Infection and bleeding
- Adverse response to the specific med
- Damage to the underlying structures during the procedure Scarring
- Hematoma or seroma (an aggregation of blood or liquid under the skin that might require removal)
- Changes in sensation
- Unsatisfactory results that might necessitate additional procedures
Some risks specific to Breast Reconstruction include:
- Flap related: Partial or complete loss
- Sensation: Both donor site and reconstructed site will experience loss of sensation
- Formation of blood clots in lungs and legs
- Fat necrosis
- Fat cysts
- Hardening of breast (Capsular contracture)
- Implants related: Implant malposition or rupture
Complications at donor site:
- Delayed wound healing and poor scar formation
For optimal results and to minimize certain risks and it is crucial that you follow the instructions given by the doctor both before and after the surgery.