Can a breast be reconstructed after cancer? Surgery to reconstruct the breasts can be done (or started) at the time of the mastectomy (which is called immediate reconstruction) or it can be done after the mastectomy incisions have healed and breast cancer therapy has been completed (which is called delayed reconstruction).

How long does it take to recover from breast reconstructive 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.

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.

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.

Can a breast be reconstructed after cancer? – Additional Questions

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.

What are the side effects of breast reconstruction surgery?

Possible problems with breast reconstruction
  • Blood clots. After surgery, you’re at risk of blood clots developing in your legs.
  • Wound infection.
  • Fluid under the wound (seroma)
  • Flap failure.
  • Loss of sensitivity.
  • Hardening and changing shape of the implant.
  • Leakage of the implant fluid.
  • Unequal breasts.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Can you have breast reconstruction without implants?

While other procedures use synthetic breast implants, we offer more natural, longer-lasting results for your breast reconstruction. Breast reconstruction using your own tissue, called autologous or flap procedures, takes tissue from elsewhere on your body to reconstruct the breast shape.

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.

Are you completely flat after a mastectomy?

FLAT Stats

Of all mastectomy patients choose to go flat (aesthetic flat closure). Three of every four patients going flat are satisfied with their aesthetic outcome. About 1 in 20 patients going flat – that’s a 5% risk for each woman who chooses flat closure – are subjected to intentional flat denial.

Where does the skin come from for breast reconstruction?

The surgeon makes a cut in your upper back, on the side of your breast that was removed. The surgeon loosens skin, fat, and muscle from this area. This tissue is then tunneled under your skin to the breast area to create your new breast.

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.

How long until you can drive after a mastectomy?

Driving. When you can start driving again typically depends on how you feel during recovery. For some people, this may be about 10 days after surgery. For others, it may be longer.