About one in every eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. The good news is, it is treatable if detected early. Each individual patient will need to discuss treatment and recovery with her doctor. Breast reconstruction is an option that many patients consider to rebuild their breasts and help them feel like themselves again. The procedure consists of more than just a breast augmentation and it usually requires more than one surgery. With breast reconstruction, Lubbock patients can help restore their body physically and take significant steps toward emotional healing after mastectomy.
Restoring the Breasts With Implants
Women who have undergone mastectomy can choose to have their breasts reconstructed with implants. Implants are put into place immediately after the mastectomy procedure. Patients may have tissue expanders put in place to increase the space for future breast reconstruction. Lubbock women in need of mastectomy also have other options for a more natural breast reconstruction. Patients will need to consider their options carefully with the help of a board-certified plastic surgeon as part of the their full recovery from cancer.
Natural Breast Reconstruction Techniques
For a more natural breast reconstruction, Lubbock doctors perform a technique that uses a flap of the patient’s own tissue. The tissue has blood vessels, fat, and skin and sometimes muscle that is moved from elsewhere on the body to rebuild the breast. This can give a more natural feel and look to the reconstructed breast area. These flaps can be taken from different areas, including the stomach, inner thigh, buttocks, or the back of your body, depending on where your doctor feels is best. These flaps make breast reconstruction appear more natural and will even respond like the rest of your body, enlarging and shrinking if weight is gained or lost. Before this type of plastic surgery, your doctors will advise you of the risks and what to expect so you can know if this is the right type of breast reconstruction for you.
Rebuilding the breasts at the time of the mastectomy is called immediate breast reconstruction. Lubbock patients benefit from this approach because it allows all of the surgical work to be performed at once as the plastic surgeon and the breast cancer surgeon coordinate their efforts. You may be a candidate for immediate reconstruction if you do not need additional treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy; if you are having a mastectomy as a preventative measure due to a high risk of breast cancer (a prophylactic mastectomy); and if you do not have diabetes, circulatory problems, or a bleeding disorder.
If a reconstructive surgery is postponed until you have had time for a full recovery of your mastectomy, it is referred to as a delayed reconstruction. If some reconstructive surgery is performed at the time of the mastectomy but is completed later with plastic surgery, it is called a delayed-immediate reconstruction. Unlike a breast reduction or implant independent of a mastectomy, the priority for your body is ensuring the cancer is completely treated. If a delay in reconstruction is necessary, take comfort in knowing that the health of your body is the top priority of your health care providers.
Is Breast Reconstruction in Lubbock Covered?
Breast reconstruction is considered to be part of the medical treatment of breast cancer patients. The law requires insurance companies to cover the costs of breast reconstruction even if you decide to have the procedure years after your mastectomy. While this is great news for patients, there are some exceptions. Health plans sponsored by the government or some churches may not cover breast reconstruction. Lubbock patients should always check with their insurance carrier to get a full understanding of their benefits.
Choosing What’s Best For You
Ultimately the choice of whether to get reconstructive plastic surgery is a decision you should make based on how you feel about your body and what helps you heal completely. It is something you can choose much later after your mastectomy, so there is no need to rush into it. Healing emotionally after breast cancer is just as important as healing physically, and breast reconstruction in Lubbock may be part of that healing or may need to come after other cancer treatments. Your health care providers will be able to guide you in knowing what your options are for reconstruction and support you through the process.
Whatever options you choose for your breasts after your recovery, reconstructive breast surgery is a personal choice between a patient and her doctor. Plastic surgery could be just what you need to feel completely recovered from the experience of breast cancer. Dr. Jane Rowley and her staff have the compassion and the experience patients deserve when they need help with difficult choices. At Rowley Plastic Surgery, you can trust that you are in the best possible care. Schedule a no-obligation consultation today to explore your breast reconstruction options.