Breast Reconstruction Surgery

Breast Reconstruction Surgery

Breast Reconstruction Surgery
Women who have aggressive forms of breast cancer, or who are at high risk of developing the disease, sometimes choose to have a mastectomy, the surgical removal of one or both breasts. Some patients may then choose to have surgery to reconstruct their breasts to restore their form and shape. During this procedure, doctors can replace any skin, breast tissue or a nipple that they may have removed during the surgery. (If you still need radiation therapy after your mastectomy, your doctor may suggest you wait for reconstructive surgery until after you finish treatment.) Breast implants, filled with either silicone or saline, can be used to reshape your breast, or you can even use your own tissue, a procedure called flap surgery. Both breast implants and flap surgery are complex procedures, each with their own risks; they may require second surgeries to position the breasts correctly. Most insurance companies will cover this type of reconstructive surgery. Learn more about breast reconstruction with expert advice from Sharecare.

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  • 5 Answers
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    When Is Breast Reconstruction Surgery Performed?
    Breast reconstruction surgery is performed after the diagnosis of breast cancer and cancer operation. Watch this video to learn more from Paige Pennebacker, MD, from Blake Medical Center.
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    A Surgery, answered on behalf of
    I think breast cancer reconstructive surgery has gone through a lot of different changes over the years. Initially reconstruction wasn’t the focus—historically the focus was treating the cancer itself. As we've gotten better and better at treating the cancer, we've really started addressing the whole person and recreating the breast as a whole. Today, I would say most patients choose some type of breast reconstruction. As technology has advanced, we can create a better aesthetic breast mound, and as implants have changed and gotten better and better, we have better tools to shape and restore the breast shape to what it was before, and sometimes even better aesthetic outcomes than before surgery.

    Trinity Health is a Catholic health care organization that acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition and does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. In case of emergency call 911. This site is educational and not a substitute for professional medical advice, always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider.
     
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    A Plastic Surgery, answered on behalf of
    How do I care for my incisions after reconstructive breast surgery?
    Caring for your incisions after reconstructive breast surgery is vital. In this video, Natalie Driessen, MD, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Riverside Community Hospital, describes care you should take, including keeping them clean and dry. 
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    A Transplant Surgery, answered on behalf of
    Surgery treats breast cancer by removing the cancerous cells from the body.
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    A superior gluteal artery perforator (SGAP) flap procedure is a breast reconstructive procedure used to build a woman a breast from her own natural tissues following treatment for breast cancer. During this procedure your surgeon takes tissue from the top of your buttocks to create breast tissue. This is usually done instead of a deep inferior epigastric artery perforator (DIEP) flap procedure, which takes skin and tissue from your abdomen to reconstruct your breast. An SGAP flap is preferable to a DIEP flap if you do not have adequate skin and tissue in your abdomens, or have had previous abdominal surgeries that may have interfered with blood vessels that the DIEP flap requires.

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    A Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, answered on behalf of
    The effectiveness of breast reconstruction surgery is multifold, not only in restoring normalcy and symmetry of the cancer surgery defect, but also as importantly, in reassuring a sense of self confidence and physical and emotional being of the woman. With the advances of surgical techniques as well as development of safer and more natural appearing and feeling synthetic breast implants, the final result of the reconstructive surgery of the missing breast, as a result of mastectomy, are often strikingly non-distinguishable from the shape and feel and texture of the natural breast. Patients are often able to resume their normal physical activities within a few weeks after surgery and wear the type of clothes they wore before such otherwise severely disfiguring surgeries.
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    A Plastic Surgery, answered on behalf of
    A delayed breast reconstruction takes place after all of the recommended therapies to treat the cancer are completed. One benefit of waiting for reconstruction is that it allows enough time to make sure all of the cancer has been treated.
    Some women choose to delay breast reconstruction because they aren't comfortable weighing all the options at once when they are struggling with a diagnosis of cancer. Others need time to come to terms with losing one or both of their breasts. Women who are overweight, or who smoke or have high blood pressure, may be advised to wait for reconstruction as well.
    Here at Johns Hopkins, we specialize in complex breast reconstruction procedures like these, including revisions to other surgeries where complications have developed.
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    A Surgery, answered on behalf of
    What are the risks of breast reconstruction surgery?
    The risks of breast reconstruction surgery are fairly low. Watch this video to learn more about infection and other risks associated with breast reconstruction surgery from Torr Carmain, MD at Citrus Memorial Hospital.
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    A Plastic Surgery, answered on behalf of

    Women with breast cancer choosing reconstructive surgery need to decide when to have surgery and what type of surgery to have. There are a variety of options available if you are a good candidate and are healthy enough for surgery.

    You can choose to have breast reconstructive surgery at the same time as your mastectomy, to delay it, or to have it in stages over time. Your breast surgeon and the breast plastic and reconstructive surgeon will help you decide which option is best for you. The specifics of these options include:

    • Simultaneous breast reconstruction - Women have the option to have immediate reconstruction of their breast or breasts at the same time as their mastectomy. This is a reasonable option for patients who do not need breast irradiation.
    • Staged breast reconstruction - Staged breast reconstruction rebuilds the breast in several stages to avoid complications. Doctors often advise women who need radiation therapy following mastectomy to have staged breast reconstruction instead of simultaneous reconstruction.
    • Delayed breast reconstruction - Some women may opt for delayed reconstruction if a plastic surgeon was not involved after her mastectomy. Other women do not know their breast reconstruction options at the time of mastectomy. More and more women are discovering that surgically recreating their breasts is possible and is even covered by insurance as a result of a federal law passed in 1998.
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    A , Plastic Surgery, answered

    There are risks of delayed autologous tissue breast reconstruction, similar to those of most surgical procedures. Most common complications include bleeding or a hematoma. The second most common complication includes infection (0.6%). Other risks include: deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolus, skin necrosis, fat atrophy, cellulitis, seroma formation, need for reoperation, general anesthesia risks, and death.