You recently fought one of the most epic battles of your life. Your chemotherapy is complete; you’ve undergone a double mastectomy, and now you can confidently say you’ve overcome breast cancer. Now what? There’s no doubt the endeavor has left you feeling empowered, but you wonder what it will take to feel whole again.
Although therapy, support groups and lifestyle changes are all great starts, patients often turn to the specialists at Mosharrafa Plastic Surgery for a permanent solution: breast reconstruction surgery.
Breast reconstruction surgery comes with it’s own set of limitations, so it’s important to talk to your oncologist about overall health and well-being before consulting a plastic surgeon. When you are ready, there are different kinds of reconstruction surgeries to consider: one-stage immediate breast reconstruction, two-stage delaying reconstruction and delayed-immediate reconstruction.
One-stage immediate breast reconstruction is done shortly after a mastectomy. A general surgeon removes the infected breast tissue and allows a plastic surgeon to place a breast implant in the space created. The surgeon may suture a type of graft or absorbable mesh to hold the implant in place, should the chest muscles used to support the implant, be unavailable.
Two-stage reconstruction or two-stage delayed reconstruction is done if the skin and chest wall tissues are too tight and flat. An implanted tissue expander is put under the skin and chest muscle. From there, the surgeon will inject a salt-water solution through a small valve at regular intervals to fill the expander over the course of 4 to 6 months. After the skin has stretched to the desired amount, a second surgery will remove the expander and put in a permanent implant. In some cases, the expander is left in place as the final implant.
The two-stage reconstruction or delayed-immediate reconstruction allows the patient time for other treatment options. If surgical biopsies show that additional therapies are needed, the final surgery will be delayed until caner treatment is complete. If radiation or chemotherapy is not needed, the surgeon can start the tissue expander and second surgery.
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.
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Dr. Ali and Dr. Tamir understand that you have made an important decision by choosing to undergo plastic surgery, and they are committed to delivering the exceptional results you expect and deserve.