Breast Reconstruction in New York City
According to some shocking results from a survey done in the US, 1 out of every 8 women living in the United Kingdom are affected by breast cancer at a certain point in their lives. This is a big and worrying number considering just how fatal breast cancer is. For most of these women, the best way to get ahead of this killer disease is to reduce the probability of the cancer cells from growing by cutting off their breasts. This can either be done as a countermeasure before the onset of the disease or can be done after it is confirmed that one has cancerous cells growing in her breasts. Whichever the time is, no woman is ever ready or will ever be prepared to lose such an essential organ. Breasts are a significant part of every woman’s sexuality, and they are one of the few hallmarks of being a woman. It is therefore quite mournful to lose such an organ.
Breast Reconstruction has been very useful in dealing with the aftermath of mastectomy. This procedure is carried out either during or after mastectomy. Advancement in technology has also made it possible to conduct the operations of patients who lost their breasts months or years after lumpectomy or mastectomy. Breast reconstruction aims at creating a new breast shape after a partial or complete mastectomy. For the patients who have only had one breast removed, the surgeon will recreate a new breast that matches the shape and size of the other natural breast. Cosmetic surgeons try to be as perfect as possible, but in most cases, the two breasts will still end up looking a bit different either regarding shape, symmetry or texture. The differences are, however, very minimal and won’t be easily detected unless someone is looking closely or touching the breasts. This procedure can also be carried out on patients who have to undergo mastectomy of both breasts. In such operations, the two breasts match better off than when it’s a single breast that’s being reconstructed.
With the green light from both your oncologist and cosmetic surgeon, you can undergo this procedure simultaneously with the mastectomy. This is also referred to as immediate reconstruction and is believed to be ideal because you will go through both surgeries and heal once instead of undergoing two procedures at different times. The ability of surgeons to do these two operations together is dependent on the specific type of cancer you have, the follow-up treatments that may be required and your own preference as the patient. Breast reconstruction is quite safe and will not in any way interfere with other cancer treatments like radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
Types of breast reconstructions in NYC
The choice on which breast reconstruction surgery you are going to take is very personal. The physician can only tell you about the requirements for each procedure and its pros and cons but anything past that is up to you. These reconstruction procedures are usually done to create a mound that could include a nipple or not. Some patients would want to have a nipple included while in other cases a doctor could advise you to wait before you can have a nipple recreated at a later date.
There are several types of breast reconstruction procedures including:
This is the most simple reconstruction procedure available. This breast reconstruction surgeries can either use sterile salt water saline or silicone implant. These implants are carefully inserted beneath your skin and muscles stretching them into forming a breast. It’s a popular breast reconstruction procedure because it causes minimal scarring which is easier to heal and hide. The problem with this surgery, however, is that the breasts are likely to feel less natural in shape, touch, and feel. Another drawback about implants is that there is always the possibility that your body might react negatively to them. This will make the breasts to feel uncomfortable and hard. Cases of a body rejecting implants are a bit common, but with a qualified surgeon, he/she might be able to recommend on other operation types if they feel like your body might reject these implants.
- Reconstruction by living tissue
Reconstruction of breasts using living tissues extracted from different body parts always sounds scary but usually delivers excellent results. This procedure, also known as flap reconstruction, involves taking body tissues from various organs of your body that are safe and elastic enough to make a breast. The surgery is ideal for the following group of women:
- Those that have already undergone radiotherapy
- Women with naturally big breasts
- Women that are seeking soft, natural but realistic results
- Women whose mastectomy scar is tight
- Have gone through the rare case where radical mastectomy has also removed significant amounts of muscles from the chest wall.
In this procedure, the surgeons do not just take out your skin to reconstruct the breast. It might also be necessary for them to take some muscles and fat. Some of the body regions where skin, muscle and fat tissues for breast reconstruction can be obtained include:
- Inner thigh – It’s a new type of operation where skin, muscle, and fat is taken from your inner thigh region just around the groin. This is then connected to blood vessels in your chest to make a breast. The functionality of the thigh where the skin has been extracted will not be altered but will leave a scar.
- Shoulder – This can be used either with an implant or without one. Here, the surgeon will rotate your latissimus muscle in the shoulder to move from the back to the breast region where it’ll be carefully attached.
- Buttock – The surgeon will obtain muscle, skin and fat tissue from your buttock area and connect it to your chest/breast area. It is recommended for women that have minimal tummy tissue. This technique leaves tiny scars that’ll be hidden beneath the panty line.
- Tummy – Reconstructing breasts from tummy tissues can be done in two ways. The first method involves taking out the tummy tissues and reattaching them into the breast area. This is popular among a significant group of women because it also leaves a tummy-tuck-like impact on the patient. The other method will use sections of your muscle, skin and fat and slide them to the breast region under the skin where it is attached to create a breast.
- Reconstruction using both implants and tissue donations
With this method, the surgeon uses a combination of both tissue donations from different body organs and either silicone or saline implants.
- Breast Conservation
Breast conservation is done when mastectomy does not get rid of the entire breast. When there is little breast tissue left behind, a surgeon can use them a mini-flap surgery where he uses just a bit of the required skin, muscle, and fat tissue to reconstruct the breast. At times the surgeon will only reshape the breast without necessarily adding any extra tissues or implants.
How to avoid complications during breast reconstruction
Every surgery comes with its risks of complications, and breast reconstructions are no different. Some measures can be used to reduce the chances of potential complications. One of the most critical parts of cosmetic surgery is giving your physician all the information necessary about your medical history and expectations of the operation. With this information, it becomes easier for the surgeon to decide which method will be easier and safer to use. It’ll also make it possible for the doctor to lay out the plans and preparations necessary that you should follow in the events leading up to the surgery. Some of the measures that enable for safer and successful breast reconstruction procedure include:
- Avoid smoking – smoking cigarettes and marijuana introduces chemicals that can result in chest infections. Smoking will also slow down the flow of blood around the chest and to the rest of the body. This will make it extremely hard for the incisions and scars to heal and also increases chances of an infection.
- Stay fit – staying fit before the breast reconstruction surgery is vital especially if the surgeon will be using live tissues. When you are exercising the donor body area, healing is likely to be faster after the operation. People who are using tummy tissue for reconstruction, for instance, are also advised to do sit-ups daily at least four weeks before the surgery. This not only makes healing faster but also reduces the risk of getting a hernia in the future.
- Lose weight – overweight can cause anesthetic complications which could affect the entire operation. You are advised to eat healthily and engage in some gym exercises if possible to cut down excess weight.
The breast reconstruction operation
This operation takes place on an outpatient basis unless the surgeon feels like you need more care before you can be dismissed. After an implant reconstruction surgery, you will need 3-4 weeks for full recovery. Tissue flap reconstruction, on the other hand, requires around six weeks for full recovery.
Breast Reconstruction Insurance information
Since mastectomy is a serious procedure, some insurance companies do provide covers for both the mastectomy and reconstruction operation. The number of insurance companies with such covers is however very limited.
Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in the world. For most of these women, mastectomy ends up being a compulsory to increase the chances of beating the disease. Breast reconstruction helps to give you a psychological boost while enhancing your appearance and esteem which is really important.