Breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure that rebuilds a new breast.
Breast cancer will affect approximately 1 in 9 women in Australia. Many of these women will require either a partial or a full mastectomy, where either part or all of the breast will need to be removed.
This can have a major psychological effect on a woman and seriously impact her quality of life. Breast Reconstruction is a collection of operative procedures which aim to rebuild a new breast and restore quality of life.
Breasts which have been disfigured by cancer treatments, developmental abnormalities and birth defects pose a significant challenge to reconstructive surgeons. Skin which has been lost or damaged must be replaced, subcutaneous or fatty tissue may need to be transplanted, and surgical scars will need to be placed in the least visible areas.
Breast reconstruction consists of 2 main types of operations:
- Flap Reconstruction: these procedures involve skin, fat and sometimes muscle being transplanted from elsewhere in the body, commonly the lower abdomen or back. This may require delicate microsurgery. The result is a new breast constructed entirely from a woman’s own body tissue.
- Implant Reconstruction: this procedure is where an implant is placed under the skin and muscle of the chest to recreate the shape of a breast. A procedure known as Tissue Expansion is frequently performed before to create an adequate skin envelope so there will be enough space for the final implant.
Your surgeon will discuss with you the various options and together you will decide which reconstructive procedure is best for you.
Breast reconstruction may be performed at the time of the mastectomy, shortly after the mastectomy or delayed until many years after the breast has been removed
Many scientific studies have proven the benefits of Breast Reconstruction to improve self- image and confidence. Whilst a reconstructed breast will never match the look or feel of your original breast, reconstruction will restore a breast to near normal shape, appearance and size. Frequently, surgery to your other breast may be advised in order to achieve a symmetrical result.
The surgeons at Coastal Plastic Surgery are experienced with the many forms of technically demanding breast reconstruction operations and we will take the time to discuss what type of reconstruction is right for you.
No decision to have surgery should be taken lightly, and our specialists will be more than happy to answer the many questions you may have, and to help you decide whether breast reconstruction surgery is right for you. Contact us today to learn more.