Can you rebuild breasts after surgery? It isn’t easy for anyone to have part or all of their breast tissue removed. They are a part of your body that has grown and developed with you over the years, and no one is expecting you to just shrug it off.
However, you may find some comfort in knowing just how far we’ve come in terms of reconstructive surgery if you’re having breast reconstruction in Houston. If it is your wish and your oncologist clears it, you can literally have your breasts reconstructed the same day the cancerous tissue is removed.
Is It a Good Idea to Have Immediate Reconstruction?
Whether it’s a good idea to have immediate reconstruction depends on a number of factors.
Does your cancer require radiation therapy?
If the answer is yes, then your oncologist may encourage you to wait on reconstruction. Radiation therapy can slow the healing process, and you’re more prone to infection as a result. However, if you really want immediate reconstruction, you can usually make that choice as long as you’re using breast implants. Patients who want to have to reconstruct their breasts with a fat transfer or a flap procedure will have to wait until after radiation so that healthy fat tissue can be injected.
Do you have inflammatory breast cancer?
Certain types of breast cancer make it more difficult for patients to have immediate reconstruction. Inflammatory breast cancer often forces your surgeon to take more skin during your lumpectomy or mastectomy. As a result, it isn’t always possible to immediately do a full reconstruction. In these cases, your oncologist will likely suggest that you finish your radiation or chemotherapy before going in for reconstruction. During this time, you may wear a specialized bra to help your clothes fit properly.
In most other cases, it is perfectly reasonable to ask for an immediate reconstruction. There will be some additional stress on the body, but waking up without your breasts can also be emotionally draining. As long as your doctors agree that it is safe for you, it is up to you to decide what is best for your physical and mental well-being.
How Does Reconstruction Work?
There are two primary types of breast reconstruction.
Implant-Based Breast Reconstruction
Implant-based reconstruction is a good option for patients who do not have to have a lot of skin removed. As with a normal breast augmentation, an implant is place inside a carefully created pocket to give your chest the appearance of breast tissue. You may choose to go with a rounder implant for a more lifted appearance. You may also choose a teardrop shape for a more natural look. Implants come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and textures, which allows your surgeon to curate the perfect breast for you.
Autologous Breast Reconstruction
This type of reconstruction uses tissue from your own body, and it’s ideal for patients who lose a lot of skin or have reconstruction later. In many cases skin, blood vessels, and muscle are transplanted to the chest region to rebuild the shape of your breasts. This is generally called a flap procedure. Depending on your preference, you may choose to just have a fat transfer to fill out those shapes. You may also choose to have an implant placed as well as the flap procedure to get a fuller bust.
Can You Rebuild Breasts After Surgery?
The bottom line is it is absolutely possible to reconstruct your breasts after surgery. Everything from the bulk of your breast, to the skin, to the nipple can be rebuilt to create the shapes that feel familiar to you. It isn’t perfect. You will have some scarring, but outcomes are improving every day. To give yourself the reconstruction you deserve contact the top reconstructive surgeon in Houston.