Breast Cancer Final Implant Reconstructive Surgery – 7 Things You Should Know

Breast reconstruction is a type of surgery designed for women who have had a mastectomy or related breast cancer-related surgical procedure. The goal of reconstructive breast surgery is to rebuild the breast so that it is about the same size and shape as it was before surgery.

Most women who have undergone a mastectomy (full breast removal) or a lumpectomy (partial breast removal) would like their breast or breasts to look like they did before their cancer-related surgery. That is where breast reconstruction comes in.

Why Breast Cancer Final Implant Reconstructive Surgery?

Women choose this type of surgery for three main reasons: to make their breasts look balanced when wearing a bra, to permanently regain breast shape, and to avoid using a form – or external prosthesis – inside the bra.

Here are 7 things you should know before electing to have final implant reconstructive surgery:

1. You can choose immediate or delayed reconstruction: Many breast cancer survivors who have had surgery to remove all or part of their breasts are given a choice by their doctor to have reconstructive surgery done at the same time. However, depending upon the patient’s circumstances and her own wishes – as well as her doctor’s recommendations – some women choose to put off reconstructive surgery until a later date.

2. No type of surgery has a 100% chance of being a complete success: As with any type of surgery, breast cancer final implant reconstructive surgery does not always come out perfectly. There can be complications that affect how and how fast the breast heals, as well as how it looks. Moreover, it is not realistic to expect the breast to look exactly like it did before the initial cancer-related breast surgery.

3. Women who tend to bleed or scar easily should consult with their doctors first: Before reconstructive surgery, consult with your doctor. Be open and honest about your propensity to scar or bleed. Depending upon your situation, your doctor may recommend various courses of action in terms of the type of surgery to be performed.

4. Breast reconstruction restores the overall shape of the breast – but not the feeling: The main goal of breast reconstruction is to help restore the general shape of the breast so that it looks similar to the way it looked (at least when the patient is clothed) before surgery. However, not only will the breast look different than it did before, but the woman will likely lose the feeling and sensitivity she used to have in that breast.

5. If you smoke, your surgeon may ask you to quit 2 months before surgery: Quitting smoking helps improve your body’s ability to heal after surgery.

6. Saline implants are the most common type of implant used in breast reconstruction: The silicone “shell” or bag of a saline implant can be inserted into the body during reconstructive surgery. It is then filled with saline solution and sealed before the incision is closed by the doctor.

7. Implants may not last a lifetime: As with any type of breast implant surgery done for any reason, breast implants will likely not last forever. For most women, within 10 years of their reconstructive surgery, their implants will likely leak or burst. This does not pose a danger to the woman. However, if it happens, it will require another surgery at a later time to correct the problem.

Reconstructive surgery for breast cancer patients is not without its problems or risks. However, it offers breast cancer survivors the chance of having a much more normal-looking breast than if only a mastectomy were performed without reconstructive surgery.

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