For many women, a mastectomy is more a necessity than a choice. When faced with a diagnosis or the possibility of breast cancer, the option to eliminate the source of the problem may be the clearest solution. But this does not mean that removing one or both of your breasts will be easy; breasts are often tied to a woman’s sense of femininity, confidence and identity. For those who have had to choose a mastectomy but are struggling to adjust to the idea of losing their breasts, a breast reconstruction surgery might be able to help.
Breast reconstruction uses breast implants or natural body tissue to restore volume to your breast area. Whether you have had a single or double mastectomy, breast reconstruction can help you rebuild natural-looking breasts that can make you feel complete again. While your new breasts may not be the same as they were before, the results of breast reconstruction can restore your self-esteem and your sense of self.
Breast Reconstruction Surgery
Breast reconstruction surgery is a versatile procedure that can be customized by you and your surgeon to help you create new breasts that you love. There are two main approaches to breast reconstruction:
- Breast reconstruction using implants
- Breast reconstruction using autologous tissue (natural tissue like muscle and fat taken from elsewhere on your body)
Each of these options comes with different choices and techniques that will determine everything from what your new breasts look and feel like to how long your recovery takes. The variables at play make it essential that you work with a plastic surgeon who will prioritize your safety and satisfaction — a board-certified plastic surgeon with demonstrated breast reconstruction experience will walk you through your choices and clearly explain which options will be best for you. You can feel confident that you will get the results you expect when your surgeon has the right expertise.
Results of Reconstruction with Implants
Implants are a safe and straightforward way to add volume to the breast area. They are used very frequently by surgeons in cosmetic breast augmentation, and they come in a vast range of styles so clients can customize the size, shape and feel of their breasts. Implants can be a great option for women who have had a double mastectomy and want to ensure that their new breasts are similar in size and shape, or for women who don’t have enough body tissue to use a tissue transfer method. With implants, you can expect:
- Breast symmetry
- Predictable outcomes
- Low risk of complications
- Relatively short recovery time
- Greater control over how your new breasts look
While there is a possible need for replacement or revision surgery as implants age, for the most part implants are a safe and long-lasting choice for breast reconstruction. They are reliable and customizable and allow you to determine with more precision how your new breasts will look.
Results of Reconstruction with Tissue Transfer
Autologous tissue transfer is a popular choice among women who want to recreate the most natural looking and feeling breasts. There are different ways to perform tissue transfer reconstruction depending on where the donor tissue comes from, but the process remains the same: your surgeon removes a piece of muscle, fat and skin from a donor site on your body, and reattaches it in your breast area to restore volume. Since your new breasts are made up of your own body tissues, they will look and feel like they belong on your body. The new tissues will change shape with your body as you age, and you won’t need to worry about the possibility of implant risks. With tissue transfer reconstruction, you can expect:
- Natural results
- Real body tissue instead of synthetic substances
- Low maintenance in the long run
- Low risk of rejection or complications
It can be somewhat difficult to predict how your results will look when you are finished healing, because the body is likely to reabsorb some of the transferred tissue after it is moved to the chest wall. Some women find that they experience a degree of asymmetry if one breast is reabsorbed more than the other, while other women find that their resulting breasts are smaller than they initially expected. In addition, recovery can take a little longer since your donor site will need to heal from the surgery as well. But for women who are overcoming breast cancer, it’s often well worthwhile knowing that they can have breasts without worrying about foreign objects in their body or the need for revisions later in life.
Long-Term Breast Reconstruction Outcomes
It’s important to remember that you won’t see your final results until after your recovery is complete; and, even after you have returned to normal daily life, you could still see some smaller-scale changes in your breasts for quite some time. You may also choose to have smaller follow-up procedures such as nipple reconstruction or tattooing. You should also keep in mind that there will be some visible scarring that will take time to fade and flatten, and that you may experience some loss of breast sensation. Overall, though, breast reconstruction surgery has high rates of satisfaction in both the short and long term, and among both implant patients and tissue transfer patients. This procedure is well known for restoring confidence and a sense of femininity in women who have undergone a mastectomy due to breast cancer. If you want to find out more about what you can expect from the type of breast reconstruction surgery that’s right for you, schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area.
No matter what your aesthetic goals are following a mastectomy, there are breast reconstruction solutions that will work for you. To learn more about breast reconstruction in Atlanta, contact Advanced Aesthetics Plastic Surgery. We are ready to work with you to help you rebuild your breasts after mastectomy — our experienced surgeons provide breast reconstruction with implants as well as autologous tissue transfer reconstruction. We will make sure that your surgical plan for reconstruction is just right to help you regain your confidence and love your body. Schedule your consultation at one of our four convenient locations in Newnan, McDonough, LaGrange or Fayetteville today by calling 770-461-4000.