Facing breast cancer and the disfigurement it bears is heartbreaking for many women. Breast reconstruction following breast cancer surgery can be physically and emotionally rewarding for women. Reconstruction of a breast that has been partially or completely removed is possible through a combination of plastic surgery techniques. Breast reconstruction following a mastectomy involves a number of procedures that are performed in multiple stages. Having a plastic surgeon involved in your case prior to a mastectomy is beneficial. Reconstruction can be performed immediately after the cancer operation or delayed; the timing of your reconstruction depends upon the cancer treatments recommended for you and your choice to pursue your options for reconstruction.
What does breast reconstruction do?
Breast reconstruction attempts to restore a breast to near normal shape, appearance and size following a mastectomy. As there are so many different options for breast reconstruction Dr. Jewell invites you to come in and discuss what might be the appropriate plan of reconstruction for you.
What are my options?
An individual’s reconstruction may be the use of an implant following tissue expansion technique; or flaps following a lumpectomy and radiation. We also understand that a woman who is in the process of breast cancer survival might be looking for less invasive procedures that require the least amount of recovery and downtime. Expanders are an option for many women. It can be placed beneath the chest muscle and is filled with sterile saline solution over many weeks, creating enough healthy tissue to cover the breast mound. The tissue expander is then replaced with a new implant that feels and is shaped like a breast. After a few months, Dr. Jewell can reconstruct a nipple and tattooing can be done to color the areola. Dr. Jewell also performs surgery on the opposite-side breast to help it match the size of the reconstructed breast.
What about flap reconstruction?
Flap reconstruction can be done; however, there are many pros and cons that are based on your body type, breast cancer surgery and subsequent breast cancer treatments. This type of decision is best explained on an individual basis of breast cancer care.
What can I do to ensure the best outcome?
Overall health and personal outlook can greatly impact the outcome of reconstructive surgery. Honestly share your expectations and fully disclose your health history, medications, usage of vitamins and herbals. This procedure is for non-smokers or those who are nicotine free for a minimum of 3 months. It is important that you and your caregiver plan to stay in the Eugene, Oregon area for the first 24 to 48 hours after surgery.