Mastectomy is a life-saving procedure with the potential of changing it forever. The battle with cancer is not easy; after all, there is a reason why cancer patients are called survivors, and only a survivor knows how much it takes to recover. On top of it, the idea of breast reconstruction after mastectomy can evoke many emotions and confusion. But does it have to be this hard? Let's find out.
Breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure to reconstruct the breasts after a mastectomy or lumpectomy. Some breast reconstruction techniques involve silicone or saline breast implants or a flap of tissue from the body, preferably from the lower belly.
Breast construction after mastectomy is a personal decision and should be well-informed. To help you weigh all your options, here are seven things to know about breast reconstruction surgery.
Whether it has been two days or two years since the mastectomy, you can opt for reconstructive surgery whenever you want.
According to an article, Gedge Rosson, the director of breast reconstruction at Johns Hopkins, says "more than 70 percent of women who forgo reconstruction at the time of their breast surgery don't know it's an option, don't have access to a plastic surgeon, or are focused and worried about managing their diagnosis."
You can consult a breast reconstruction surgeon to learn more about and decide on the procedure.
Breasts are an important part of a woman's being. They symbolize femininity, sexuality, and motherhood. Women are prone to body image issues as it is, and with mastectomy, the insecurities can increase a thousand times. Even though mastectomy is put in place to fight cancer, it can affect your mental and physical health. Breast reconstructive surgery can help women gain their femininity back. It can redefine your confidence and how you look at yourself.
A research paper published by the National Library of Medicine states that women who had undergone reconstruction surgery after a mastectomy were more satisfied. They reported a lower impact on their self-esteem and sexual life versus those who only had a mastectomy.
An external prosthesis is placed inside the bra pocket or attached to the chest wall to give a feminine look and aid post-operative recovery. These are also known as breast forms.
While breast forms are effective and essential in the initial phases of recovery, many women find them heavy and difficult to manage. Delayed breast reconstruction surgery after mastectomy can permanently solve this problem.
For many women, surgical scars symbolize their brave journey and triumph over breast cancer. While for some, they can be a painful reminder of the agony they had to endure.
Breast reconstruction helps those women to put their past behind them and live a scar-free life. Innovations in breast reconstructive surgery allow surgeons to reduce scars and indentations.
It is a known fact that breast reconstructive surgery can happen right after the mastectomy, but that is not it. Reconstruction surgery can happen even after months or even years later. It is known as delayed breast reconstruction.
Some women decide to undergo reconstructive surgery right after mastectomy, while others prefer not to for many reasons. Delayed breast reconstruction surgery is to let you know that there is always an option, and it's never too late to choose it.
Recovery is a personal experience and differs from person to person. However, the recovery period for delayed breast reconstruction is comparatively shorter than immediate reconstruction after mastectomy. It is a rather safe procedure with minimal risk.
After so many months or years of recovery, the tissues have now healed properly. Delayed reconstruction gives your body and mind enough time to prepare for the procedure. Since your body has already defeated cancer, you know it can recover from reconstructive surgery, too.
One of the biggest concerns for many women is the financial stress this procedure can put on them. However, according to the same article mentioned above by Johns Hopkins, breast reconstruction is covered by medical insurance.
Breast reconstruction after mastectomy can be your chance to live a more satisfying and confident life. If you would like to learn more about this surgery, consult your doctor today and find the type of breast reconstruction surgery most suits your needs.
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Shweta Chaubey, has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2021. An advocate-turned-writer, her desire to create meaningful and positive content has brought her to HPFY and what better than writing ...
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