Is breast reconstruction a major surgery? Breast reconstruction is major surgery that can require several days in the hospital, followed by weeks of recovery at home. The length of recovery depends on the type of reconstruction performed. After surgery, patients may have: Limited activity for up to two months.

How long does it take to recover from reconstructive breast surgery? Most women can start to get back to normal activities within 6 to 8 weeks. If implants are used without flaps, your recovery time may be shorter. Some things to keep in mind: Certain types of reconstruction surgery do not restore normal feeling to your breast, but in other types some feeling might return over time.

Can cancer come back in a reconstructed breast? It is estimated that up to 40% of all breast cancer patients will experience relapse, the highest risk of relapse being within the first 1–3 years post reconstruction [1]. After treatment, many patients take measures to reduce recurrence risk into their own hands.

What is the safest breast reconstruction surgery? Breast implants are a safe and popular choice for breast reconstruction. The main disadvantage of implants compared to free-flap surgery is that implants must be replaced at certain points in life due to age-related body changes, failure of the implant, or age of the implant.

Is breast reconstruction a major surgery? – Additional Questions

How painful is breast reconstruction surgery?

Right after the surgery, you will probably feel weak, and you may feel pain for 2 to 3 weeks. You may have a pulling or stretching feeling in your breast area. You can expect to feel better and stronger each day, although you may need pain medicine for a week or two.

What can go wrong with breast reconstruction?

The possible risks of breast reconstruction include, but are not limited to, bleeding, infection, poor healing of incisions and anesthesia risks. You should also know that: Flap surgery includes the risk of partial or complete loss of the flap and a loss of sensation at both the donor and reconstruction site.

Is there different types of breast reconstruction?

The two main types of breast reconstruction are implant reconstruction and tissue (flap) reconstruction. Sometimes the implant and flap procedures are used together to rebuild a breast.

What is the most common breast reconstruction procedure in the US?

The most common pedicle flap used for breast reconstruction is the latissimus dorsi (LD) flap, where tissue from the back (skin, fat, and muscle) is used to make a new breast. Tissue from the abdominal wall (tummy) can also be used as a pedicle flap (transverse rectus abdominis muscle or TRAM flap).

What is better DIEP flap or implants?

Women who have undergone chemotherapy for months do not wish to get implants that would again require future surgeries or revision. The DIEP flap breast reconstruction technique is an extensive surgery, but in case of future radiation requirement, the implants would have to be removed and DIEP remains the best choice.

What are the different types of breast reconstruction surgery?

There are two main types of breast reconstruction surgery after mastectomies.
  • Flap reconstruction. In flap reconstruction, your surgeon takes tissue from your own body (autologous tissue) and uses it to form a breast.
  • Implant reconstruction.
  • Oncoplastic reconstruction after lumpectomy.

What are the stages of breast reconstruction?

Breast reconstruction surgery takes place in two stages: Placing the tissue expander. Reconstructing the breasts after the tissue is expanded.

Do reconstructed breasts have nipples?

The nipple and areola are usually the final phase of breast reconstruction. This is a separate surgery done to make the reconstructed breast look more like the original breast. It can be done as an outpatient surgery or sometimes as an office procedure.

Where does tissue come from for breast reconstruction?

The tissue for reconstructing your breast most often comes from your abdomen. Tissue from your back or — less commonly — your buttocks may also be used. Your surgeon determines which method is best for you based on your body type and your medical and surgical history. Abdomen (TRAM flap).

How do I prepare for breast reconstruction?

How should I prepare for breast reconstruction?
  1. Get lab testing or a medical evaluation.
  2. Take certain medications or adjust your current medications.
  3. Stop smoking.
  4. Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding.

Why can’t you keep your nipples after a mastectomy?

A: Yes, the procedure is generally safe, with the usual risks of having surgery. The specific risks of having nipple-sparing mastectomy include the fact that because we remove all of the tissue behind the nipple — in what we call the nipple core — there can be an interruption of the blood supply to it.

Can belly fat be used for breast reconstruction?

While breast augmentation can be done through fat transfer from various parts of your body, most women choose to have fat transferred from their stomach region. Breast augmentation with stomach fat transfer essentially provides the benefits of two cosmetic surgeries in one — liposuction and breast augmentation surgery.

What type of breast reconstruction is best?

The pre-pectoral procedure is the most minimally invasive breast reconstruction option. Your doctor can perform a mastectomy by removing breast tissue through a small incision underneath the breast. Through this incision, a tissue expander can be placed on top of the muscle to create a breast mound.

Does fat transfer last in breasts?

Does Fat Transfer Last? Yes. When performed correctly, the use of body fat as an augmentation material for the breasts is highly effective and long-lasting.

Why is my stomach swollen after mastectomy?

Lymphedema after cancer surgery to the lower body can cause swelling to the stomach and genitals as well as swelling in the legs and feet leading to loss of mobility and severe swelling. Breast cancer activists have helped give much-needed attention to upper-body lymphedema following mastectomy or radiation treatment.

What is the most common complication of mastectomy?

Some possible complications of mastectomy include:
  • Short-term (temporary) breast swelling.
  • Breast soreness.
  • Hardness due to scar tissue that can form at the site of the cut (incision)
  • Wound infection or bleeding.
  • Swelling (lymphedema) of the arm, if lymph nodes were removed.

What do I need at home after a mastectomy?

Most Important Items to Have Post-Mastectomy
  1. Drain lanyard for shower – Once surgery is completed, you will most likely have drains that are coming out of your body and being held in place with stitches.
  2. Mastectomy pillow – THIS WAS MY FAVORITE ITEM!
  3. Shower seat – I had no idea how weak I would be after surgery.