A breast cancer diagnosis is an emotional time for the woman affected, and those close to her. It is also a time of decision making, some small, some significant. One of the decisions may concern breast reconstruction, if mastectomy is recommended. Some women are not aware of the options available so it is important to discuss these concerns with your surgeon, and be clear about your optimal outcome.
Breast reconstruction after mastectomy is a procedure performed to restore wholeness and provide symmetry to a woman who has lost one or both breasts to cancer. There are many techniques available for reconstruction of breast defects – the art is to choose the right technique for an individual woman, taking into account lifestyle, post-operative support and expectations. An immediate breast reconstruction is ideal, and should not interfere with the subsequent chemotherapy or radiation if it is required. However, a delayed breast reconstruction can be undertaken any time after the mastectomy and adjuvant therapy is completed, from a few months later to many years.
A breast reconstruction does not affect the behaviour of the breast cancer. However, not all breast cancer patients can have an immediate reconstruction because of the type of cancer. This is something to discuss with your oncologist and your reconstructive plastic surgeon.
Usually a complete reconstruction will involve more than one operation to achieve an aesthetic breast shape with a nipple reconstruction. Your breasts don’t need to be the same size or shape as prior to cancer – some women consider a breast lift, reduction or augmentation at the same time, taking the opportunity to make changes a woman may have always desired. Advantages in performing a breast reconstruction at the same time as the mastectomy include less time in hospital, fewer operations, less expense and improved aesthetic outcome. With an increasing number of breast cancers being discovered at an early stage, often as the result of regular mammograms, there is the added advantage of the procedure not being as drastic. With less skin removed during the mastectomy, your reconstructive plastic surgeon is able to achieve symmetry of size and shape more easily.
Recovery depends very much on the type of breast reconstruction you have and may be a factor in your decision on whether to delay reconstruction or to go with a particular type of procedure. Again, your reconstructive plastic surgeon will discuss this with you in detail. Cost also varies case by case and is determined by which technique is undertaken, the number of operations and how long the procedure takes.
Cosmetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgeon, Mr Adam Bialostocki of the Da Vinci Clinic, will help you understand and determine the best option for you.
Choosing to have surgery is a significant decision. Local plastic surgeon, Mr Adam Bialostocki, ensures his patients receive excellent care and achievable results, using only the latest, safest techniques available world-wide. With a keen eye for aesthetic symmetry and a warm and respectful manner, he is also the Bay of Plenty’s most established Cosmetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgeon. Should you wish to discuss breast reconstruction with Mr Bialostocki, please make your appointment at the Da Vinci Clinic.
Be confident that the outcome you desire is as important to your surgeon as it is to you.
Mr Adam Bialostocki
Cosmetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgeon, MBChB (Otago), FRACS (Plastics)
Mr Bialostocki is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon with a Fellowship in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS)
727 Cameron Rd, Tauranga
P +647 578 5350