Lubbock breast augmentation is a topic that many women are familiar with, but what about breast reconstruction after mastectomy? The less-talked about procedure is used to rebuild the breasts after cancerous breast tissue is removed. Women who have gone through breast cancer have the option of pursuing reconstruction to recreate the natural look and feel of their breasts. This procedure can help with mental and emotional healing after overcoming cancer, but it is often misunderstood. Approaching reconstruction with the understanding that it is not a one size fits all surgery will help you get the most satisfaction from your results. The better you can anticipate what to expect from breast reconstruction after mastectomy, the more comfortable you will be with the entire process.
Breast Reconstruction Methods
One way to reconstruct the breasts after mastectomy is with breast augmentation. Lubbock breast cancer patients can opt for implant-based reconstruction, which is different than a typical breast augmentation in Lubbock. This procedure is performed using a temporary implant, or breast tissue expander. The expander is filled partly with saline or silicone gel and placed in the breasts, either over or under the chest muscle. After several weeks or even months, you can choose to have the expander filled up more as the breast tissue has stretched, or have it switched out for a permanent breast implant. According to breastcancer.org, implant-based reconstruction surgery can be done through the same incision as the mastectomy and can sometimes be done as a one-step procedure. However, this method may not work for some patients after radiation therapy, because the skin becomes tough and has difficulty stretching. Your doctor can help you decide whether implant-based reconstruction is right for you.
A procedure known as flap surgery is another option for breast reconstruction. For this method, the plastic surgeon takes fatty tissue from one area of the body such as the thighs, belly, or buttocks, and implants it in the chest. Patients with enough donor tissue make good candidates for this procedure and often end up with results that resemble the softness and movement of natural breasts, just like they would after Lubbock breast augmentation. Flap reconstructive surgery requires a more complex operation and longer recovery period compared to implant-based reconstruction.
It is important to understand the different breast reconstruction methods available. Other alternatives after mastectomy include direct to implant, fat grafting, nipple reconstruction, or no reconstruction at all. Learning of a breast cancer diagnosis can make you feel like you have no options. When you finally beat the disease and are ready to rebuild your breasts, you deserve to know about all of your choices so you can make an informed decision that feels right for you.
The Timing is Up to You
Taking control of your life after cancer is an empowering feeling. Many patients elect to have their reconstructive surgery or breast augmentation in Lubbock performed at the same time as their mastectomy, but you don’t have to. If you would rather pursue reconstruction after you have had more of a chance to heal physically and emotionally, it is your right to do so. According to MDAnderson, the decision to have immediate versus delayed breast reconstruction also depends on factors such as your breast cancer stage, lifestyle and preferences, medical conditions, and any additional therapies you may need.
A recent Bustle article about breast reconstruction cited a study which revealed that “Immediate breast reconstruction may protect breast cancer patients from a period of psychosocial distress, poor body image, and diminished sexual well-being compared with those waiting for delayed breast reconstruction.” The decision to have reconstruction immediately, later, or not at all is a very personal one and should involve close counsel with your doctor.
Reconstructed Breasts Aren’t Perfect Breasts
Breast reconstruction can help restore some of the shape and feel of your natural breasts, but it can’t make them exactly the way they were before cancer. Unlike breast augmentation, Lubbock breast reconstruction often cannot bring back sensation to the breasts or nipples. With time and healing, some feeling can return, but it may never be the same. Different women experience varying degrees of sensation loss, but a lot depends on the mastectomy and what type of reconstructive procedure you have. As with a regular Lubbock breast augmentation procedure, it will take time for your breasts to heal no matter how you choose to enhance them. Just remember to be patient with your body and give it the care it deserves.
Caring and Compassionate Plastic Surgery in Lubbock
The journey through breast cancer can be a long and difficult road. If and when you decide you are ready to seek breast reconstruction, you can rest assured knowing that Dr. Jane Rowley and her staff provide the highest level of plastic surgery care in Lubbock. Dr. Rowley has over two decades of experience with breast augmentation in Lubbock and is often referred by local oncologists for reconstructive procedures. She has the training and expertise to help you feel like yourself again after breast cancer. Schedule your no-obligation consultation today to take the next steps on your path to recovery.