Breast Reconstruction After Mastectomy & Lumpectomy - What Are Your Options?
Only 30% of American breast cancer patients are offered the option of breast reconstruction after mastectomy or lumpectomy.
Breast reconstruction is not a cosmetic procedure.... it restores something that nature has provided but cancer has taken away. It is also covered by insurance thanks to a Federal Mandate passed in 1998.
Women have several reconstructive options after mastectomy or lumpectomy. These range from implants to "flap" techniques which use the patient's own tissue to recreate a "natural", warm, soft breast. The nipple and areola (the darker area surrounding the nipple) can also be recreated.
Immediate vs. Delayed Breast Reconstruction
Immediate reconstruction is performed at the same time as the mastectomy. Advantages include keeping the natural breast skin ("skin sparing mastectomy") and less scarring. In some select cases nipple-sparing mastectomy can be performed; this preserves the nipple and areola as well as the breast skin.
Immediate reconstruction enables the patient to wake up from the surgery "complete" and avoid the experience of a flat chest. Most women with early breast cancer (stage I or II) are candidates.
Delayed reconstruction usually takes place several months after the mastectomy. Patients having radiation may be advised to delay the surgery for the best cosmetic results. This delay may be for several months. This allows the chest tissues to heal as much as possible after the radiation. Other reasons for delaying reconstruction include advanced disease (stage III or IV) and lack of access to a reconstructive surgeon.
Breast Reconstruction Options
All PRMA plastic surgeons are board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. While they are very experienced with all types of reconstructive breast surgery, they favor advanced microsurgical procedures using the patient's own tissue. This is because these procedures generally provide superior and much more "natural" results than implants. Options available at PRMA include:
Before and after Pictures
Please visit our Gallery to view breast reconstruction before and after photos.
Are You A Candidate?