October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and did you know that breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women in Australia, with 1 in 8 women receiving their diagnosis by the age of 85? Treatment for breast cancer can be traumatic, often necessitating the removal of one, or both, of the breasts. Breast reconstruction following a mastectomy can prove beneficial to a patient’s mental health, increasing their confidence and helping them regain feelings of ownership over their bodies.
Breast reconstruction is a common procedure for patients who have undergone breast cancer treatment. Several different surgical techniques can be used to reconstruct the breasts, and at Cranford House Plastic Surgery, you can rest assured that we will discuss in detail every option so we can find the perfect approach to suit your needs and expectations.
Deciding on Your Approach to Breast Reconstruction Surgery
There are many options available to women for breast reconstruction following a mastectomy, and it can be overwhelming trying to decide which option is right for you. Your plastic surgeon at Cranford House Plastic Surgery can help you make an informed decision by explaining the pros and cons of each treatment option. Indeed, the pros and cons of breast reconstruction vary massively from person to person depending on needs and expectations. Your decision should be based on your unique needs and circumstances.
Some women are advised to delay breast reconstruction after cancer treatment to let their chest heal. This option is ideal for patients who are unsure about their options after a cancer diagnosis. Similarly, women who undergo radiation therapy should delay reconstructive surgery for up to 12 months. The timing of your reconstruction will depend on your health and your wishes. It can be done immediately after your mastectomy, known as immediate reconstruction, or months or even years later – a delayed reconstruction. Most patients choose to wait until they are finished with their cancer treatment to undergo reconstruction, however, your surgeon will be able to recommend the best timing for you. Make sure to discuss your medical history with us, as well as any previous surgeries you’ve had.
Choosing the Best Reconstruction Option for You
If you’ve undergone a mastectomy, you have many options when it comes to reconstructing your breasts. Dr. Quoc Lam at Cranford House Plastic Surgery is a specialist breast reconstruction surgeon and can give you thorough and comprehensive advice and insight about which surgical techniques best suit your need.
There are two primary types of reconstruction procedures: implant reconstruction and flap reconstruction. Implant reconstruction involves the insertion of a silicone gel or saline implant into the chest area, while flap reconstruction involves taking tissue from other parts of the body and using it to “rebuild” the breast. Choosing which surgical approach to take will depend on your specific circumstances, desires, and needs.
Recovering from Breast Reconstruction Surgery
The recovery time from breast reconstruction surgery varies from person to person and depends on several different factors, such as the surgical method of reconstruction. You should expect to spend at least a few days in the hospital and probably must wear a surgical bra during this period. This is to protect your breasts and minimise any swelling that may occur. Your surgeon will also give you instructions for taking care of yourself at home. Once home, you will almost certainly experience some degree of pain and discomfort for a few weeks after your surgery, although you will be prescribed medication to help with this. You’ll have to be in bed for a few weeks, so stock up on reading materials and episodes of your favourite series to keep you occupied!
You can expect to resume your usual activities around six to eight weeks after your procedure. You may also feel some emotional strain after the surgery, so it’s important to speak with family and friends for support and seek counseling if necessary.
How Can We Help?
Dr Quoc Lam is a specialist breast reconstructive surgeon who will walk you through each one of your options for reconstructive surgery. Because of the level of detail involved, we suggest bringing a family member or friend to your first appointment to help you fully digest and remember all the information you will be given. Rest assured however that whatever decision you make regarding your breast reconstruction, you will receive the most attentive and expert care.
To learn more about breast reconstruction surgery at Cranford House Plastic Surgery, please see here.
To make a booking, please call 08 7070 0596, or make an enquiry online.