You have withered the storm and come out shining; or you decided not to wait for the breast cancer to get to you, and went the ‘Angelina Jolie’ way of having a risk-reducing mastectomy. Either way, you are a survivor and an inspiration to other women facing the same challenge.
No one should have to go through breast cancer. But sometimes we do not always get what we want. The big question here is how do you rebuild yourself? And by this we mean breast reconstruction or cosmetic surgery after a mastectomy.
How you can do it
After losing one or both of your breasts, there are two ways in which you can have new breasts. This can be done by either having implants, or using your own fat tissues, muscles and skin to construct new ones.
Breast implants come in different types, sizes and shapes and it is up to you to choose the one that brings out the best in you. There are saline and silicone filled implants, or a combination of the two.
The shapes of these implants are either teardrop shaped or round shaped. The plastic surgeon will examine you in advance in order to decide which shape is best suited for your body type. In both types of implants, the outer surface may be smooth or textured. You can request to feel the samples provided so as to know your preferred texture then the chosen implant is placed below the chest muscles in order to replace the lost tissues.
Although it depends on a case by case basis, one can have an implant reconstruction immediately after or the same time as a mastectomy. This process is known as an ‘immediate reconstruction’. On the other hand, due to factors beyond your control, you can have a ‘delayed reconstruction’ surgery. Your surgeon will be the best person to advise you on this.
Breast reconstruction by tissue flap
If breast implants are not the right choice for you, you can go for a tissue flap reconstruction. This is done by reconstructing the breasts through the removal of tissue, fat and skin from one area of your body to another; this can be from your stomach, buttocks, thighs, upper back etc.
All this is transferred to your chest and re-attached to your breast area through a procedure known as a free flap. On the other hand, the plastic surgeon might leave the tissue flap attached to your blood supply and move it to the chest area through a passage way below the skin. This process is known as a pedicle flap.
Although the Flap surgery technique requires more surgery than implant technique, it also has its advantages which include coming in handy when the chest tissue has been damaged, additional tissue is required over an implant, and when you need a double D without breast implant.
Some of the disadvantages of tissue flap include longer stay in the hospital, visible scarring at the donor area, longer recovery time and more scars at the breast reconstruction site.
It is great to have great expectations about your new breast or breasts, but over expecting can lead to disappointment.
- For example you will always have visible marks made by the incisions during reconstruction from tissue or implanting.
- There will be scarring at the donor site.
- And finally, your new breasts will not have the same feel as your original natural breasts.
But either way, you will have several reasons to celebrate; first for beating breast cancer and second for rebuilding yourself as well as inspiring other women facing the same challenge.
For more information on breast reconstruction in dubai after a mastectomy you can call us for a free consultation with our expert plastic surgeons.