Reconstructive breast surgery: 3 things to consider
10/19/2015 3:19 PM
One of the biggest decisions a woman with a breast cancer diagnosis will face is in regards to reconstructive surgery. Some cancers are treatable with just an incision (plus or minus chemotherapy and radiation). These “breast saving surgeries” are often feasible, and even a fraction of those patients end up with some level of reconstruction.
Each woman must make the choice that’s best for her. There are three important factors to think about when considering reconstruction.
1. What are the odds of the cancer coming back?
I usually encourage a mastectomy if there’s a strong family history or a positive gene that causes concern for the cancer progressing later or being present in the other breast.
2. What are your limitations?
Each method of reconstruction requires time for healing. In fact, more often than not, breast reconstruction is a series of two or three surgeries. Consider your life situation. Do you have a support system to help you through the process? The more stress you have after surgery, the more difficult your recovery will be.
3. Are you against having foreign materials in your body?
I have patients who don’t want to have foreign objects in their body, opting to use their own tissue instead. Each method has its own risks. For example, implants can rupture and typically should be replaced every 10 years. On the other hand, there are size limitations with using tissue as well as a more intense recovery from relocating tissue from one spot of the body to another.
If you’d like to learn more about reconstructive surgery, visit liveoakaesthetics.com to schedule a consultation with Dr. Mohan.
About the Author:
Pradeep Mohan, MD, is a Board-Certified Plastics and Hand Surgeon at The Aesthetic Center at Live Oak Health Partners clinic in San Marcos, Texas. He is also fellowship trained in Hand and Reconstructive Microsurgery.