Worldwide the breast cancer (a cancer of breast tissue) is the most common form of cancer in female. The surgeon always recommends mastectomy. It means that woman will lose a breast, but will have a chance to survive. However, woman may be grappling with the emotional aspects after loosing a breast and sometimes decides to have a breast reconstruction procedure. Fortunately, today this plastic surgery is available for many women, who had a mastectomy.
Breast reconstruction – what is it?
Breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure to restore the appearance of a breast. Usually women prefer this kind of plastic surgery after having mastectomy. This plastic procedure reconstructs the breast shape, also nipple and areola (if woman desires). There are some different ways of reconstruction procedure:
* To use breast implants;
* To use body’s own tissue;
* To use a combination of tissue reconstruction and breast implants.
The first way to reconstruct your breast is to use breast implants . The researchers proved that they do not have any negative influence on a cancer patient’s health, also breast implants do not reduce the long-term survival of the patient.
During this plastic surgery, the surgeon places a breast implant behind the muscle of woman’s chest (as it is performed during breast augmentation). Bear in mind, that woman can choose one or two-stage process – breast implants can be placed during the mastectomy (one stage process). The two-stage process is performed if skin and chest wall tissues are tight and flat. The surgeon will use tissue expander, which he will remove after skin over the breast has stretched enough. After all, a surgeon will put a permanent breast implant in tissue expander’s place.
Tissue flap procedure
The second way is to select tissue flap procedure. During this procedure a surgeon uses tissue from own patient body – from tummy, back, hip or buttocks to restore the breast shape. There are two general types of the procedure:
- TRAM flap (transverse rectus abdominis muscle flap) – a surgeon uses tissue from patient’s tummy;
- Lattisimus dorsi flap – a surgeon uses tissue from patient’s upper back.
Unfortunately, both operations leave scars in both places – from where tissue was taken and where was placed. Also this operation is not suitable for women suffering from diabetes, vascular disease and even for smokers!
Remember, breast reconstruction is a complex procedure, the patient may need two or more surgeries to get a symmetrical breast. Sometimes woman also need surgery on opposite breast even if it’s healthy.