Breast reconstruction offers much hope for a woman losing her breast to cancer. Reconstruction can often be performed immediately after the mastectomy, so the woman does not have to live with one breast. Depending on health conditions, however, a mastectomy patient may have to wait before undergoing reconstructive surgery. In either case, reconstructive surgery holds much promise that the post-operative breast can match the natural breast again.
When reconstructive surgery is performed immediately following mastectomy, a breast mound is created in place of the breast that has been removed. This is done in the hospital under general anesthesia.
Dr. John Ayala will work with your oncologist to ensure the best possible conditions for reconstruction.
Breast reconstruction usually involves more than one operation, and follow up procedures may be performed on an outpatient basis. Follow-up procedures may only require local anesthesia, and often involve a skin expander with a breast implant, and reconstruction of the nipple and areola. Sometimes surgery is the performed on the natural breast to match the reconstructed breast; however, this creates additional scars.
Recovery: What to Expect
Reconstruction of the breast following mastectomy is a very rewarding procedure for both the patient and the surgeon. Many women describe a feeling of once again being whole. There are many materials available regarding breast reconstruction. There are support groups available where one can meet women who have gone through these procedures. Ask us for references, books, and support groups in your area. Take advantage of these invaluable resources.