Being given the news that you have cancer is devastating but for a woman to be told that she has to undergo a mastectomy there are just no words to describe the feeling because it is more than sad. This is because women are so attached to their breasts and losing them could be one of the worst things that happens to them.
When this happens women have a choice of getting a breast reconstruction. Thanks to the recent advances there is a wide range of breast reconstruction options.
The main aim of breast reconstruction is restoring the breast mound or mounds and at the same time achieve symmetry. It is crucial to know the type of breast cancer the patient has, the stage that it is in and the exact location. Her general health status and her body type are also taken into consideration. The patient’s feelings and choices in regard to the breast reconstruction are highly considered too. Also on the list is if the patient may be in need of additional therapy before and after the surgery.
Two types of breast reconstruction options are Implants and Diep Flap.
These are the most common type of breast reconstruction. This type uses either a saline implant or a silicone to reconstruct the breast. Implants can be performed immediately after the mastectomy or a few weeks after the surgery. If you opt for it to be performed later then a tissue expander will be placed underneath the pectoralis muscle in the chest. After a few weeks the expander is filled with saline and the skin begins to stretch out gradually. The expansion process takes about six to eight weeks. The expander is removed after another six weeks and the final implant is put in place.
The ideal candidates for implants are average bodied women with a B cup breast. Women with fuller breast qualify for implants when a unilateral mastectomy is done then the other natural breast would need to be reduced so as to achieve symmetry with the implant. Women with A cup breast size may undergo breast augmentation of the natural breast so as to achieve symmetry.
Implants may get infected or leak and this may require another procedure to be done. They also need to reviewed and probably changed down the line.
The diep flap breast reconstruction involves using the woman’s own tissue that is the fat, skin and muscle to reconstruct the breast. These are obtained from the lower abdomen and are grafted to the chest. This type of reconstruction show a more realistic result because it uses your own living tissue hence the blood flow to the tissue still continues.
The Diep Flap is a great option because the tissue ages with you and there is no risk of rejection.
Which is the best type of breast reconstruction between the two options?
Your doctor will take you through both procedures and ultimately it is going to be your choice. Some women opt for implants because it gives you more control over the shape, size and how the breast will look. Others go for the Diep flap as it provides more realistic results.
Your surgeon will help you choose the best option for you after all considerations.
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