Breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure to reconstruct the shape of the breast after undergoing mastectomy or lumpectomy surgery or birth defect-related shape irregularity. There are several types of breast reconstruction techniques, some use silicone or saline breast implants, while others use a flap of tissue from your body. The surgery type will depend on the patient. Breast reconstruction surgery can be done right after breast cancer surgery (immediate reconstruction), or a month or years later (delayed reconstruction). This choice is personal to the patient.
Is a Breast Reconstruction for Me?
Patients would choose this procedure if they have had:
- Previous removal of breast tissue
- Cancer or other related illnesses
- Traumatic breast injury
How is a Breast Reconstruction Performed?
This procedure is done under anesthesia. There are various types of techniques that can be followed for this procedure. During an implant reconstruction, saline or silicone implants are placed under or above the chest muscle. During flap reconstruction, tissue is taken from your own body and is used to form a new breast.
Healing and Recovery
After the procedure, your breasts will be covered with gauze and a surgical support bra. Small tubes may be placed at the incision sites in your breasts to drain any excess blood or fluid. Patients may be required to stay, in hospital for up to one week to ensure healing. Pain medication may be prescribed or over-the-counter medication recommended. Initial swelling and bruising will begin to subside 2 to 3 weeks post-surgery, normal routines can be resumed 8 weeks post-surgery. Swelling can last up to 2 weeks post-procedure, however, to get the full results this could take up to 6 months.