Making the decision to undergo breast reconstruction following a mastectomy is not one that requires careful consideration. There really is no cookie-cutter approach to breast reconstruction but there is a lot of false information doing the rounds that often deters patients from considering the surgery at all.
Busting Common Breast Reconstruction Myths
Myth 1: A mastectomy and reconstructive surgery should be performed at the same time
Not all women are sure whether they want to undergo breast reconstruction surgery and may wait years before they decide to make the call. According to the best breast reconstruction surgeon Dr Andre Safvat, patients who are still receiving treatment for their cancer may want to wait until after they have completed their radiation therapy. There really is no right time to undergo breast reconstruction surgery; it’s all dependent on what you want to do.
Myth 2: Implants are the only option during reconstruction
Breast implants are definitely not the only way to reconstruct your breasts. Tissue can also be taken from the back or stomach to recreate the breasts. In some cases, a combination of implants and body tissue are used to achieve the desired end result. Each of these options has their own advantages and disadvantages, which your surgeon will take you through during your consultation.
Myth 3: Your breasts won’t look natural
Breast reconstruction surgery is more advanced than ever, which means it is possible to achieve results that look natural. Results do vary between patients though, so it’s important to discuss expectations with your surgeon prior to your procedure. In some instances, you may need to have surgery on both breasts to achieve the best results.
Myth 4: Results can be achieved with one procedure
The majority of patients will need more than one surgery to achieve their desired results. Your body shape and size, goals and how your body reacts to the procedure will all determine whether a second surgery will be required. Your surgeon will take you through the initial reconstruction process and advise you on whether he thinks you will require a second procedure.
Myth 5: Breast cancer can’t be detected after reconstructive surgery
Mammograms and self-breast exams are still possible and effective after reconstructive surgery. There is no proof that this type of surgery has any impact on cancer detection. The chances of cancer recurring are dependent on more than just your surgery. Your surgeon will tell you what steps you should take after your surgery to make the health of your breasts a top priority.
Breast cancer is a very distressing experience and one that takes both a physical and emotional toll on your body. There are so many things you will need to consider during and after treatment but know that it is possible to maintain your femininity, which is often the biggest concern for women once they’ve been diagnosed.
By choosing a reputable surgeon who actually specialises in breast reconstruction, you can expect a positive experience after your mastectomy.