Plastic Procedures > Cosmetic Procedures > Breast
What is The Breast Reconstruction?
Every year, thousands of women are diagnosed with breast tumors a disease women fear more than any other.
It is the most common cancer among women and one of the leading causes of female deaths. The cancer can be halted, however this may result in the removal of one or both breasts, a procedure known as mastectomy.
Unfortunately, some women feel that losing their breasts means losing their femininity, so losing a breast can be a very traumatic experience. However, breast reconstruction offers a solution to those who want to regain the appearance of a full bosom. Advancements in the procedure have allowed doctors to reconstruct the breast immediately after mastectomy, so women can wake up without ever having to see a missing breast.
With the increasing popularity of various cosmetic surgery procedures, including Breast Reconstruction surgery, it is imperative that the prospective patient research and understand different issues like what the procedure can and cannot treat, inherent risks, costs, and so on. Keep in mind, cosmetic surgery is just that a surgical procedure whose results cannot simply be erased. When considering any form of cosmetic surgery, it is important to have a good understanding of the procedure before making a decision. Take some time to view the introductory information we have provided on Breast Reconstructive surgery. While the information contained in this website will provide you with a basic understanding of the procedure, it may not answer all of your questions. To get complete answers to the questions you are seeking, we recommend that you contact us.
Benefits of Breast Reconstruction:
Here are some of the more common benefits of having a breast reconstructed:
- Enhanced appearance.
- Restored symmetry to the two breasts.
- Regained a sense of femininity.
- A boost in self-confidence and self-esteem.
Who would best Represent an Ideal Candidate for Breast Reconstruction?
- Any woman who faces losing her breasts from breast cancer would be considered a qualified candidate for the procedure.
- High risk women that have a history of multiple cases of breast cancer in their families, sometimes choose to have the breasts removed (prophylactic mastectomy) even before the disease shows symptom, in order to avoid cancer completely.
- It is also important for women to be healthy when undergoing breast reconstruction. Conditions such as morbid obesity, high blood pressure and smoking may result in postponing the reconstructive surgery.
What is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer is a disease in which abnormal uncontrolled growth and multiplication of cells within the tissues of the breast. It is not known what actually causes this disease, however age, health history and other factors can affect the risk of developing breast cancer.
It is important for women to check regularly for breast cancer, once a month is recommended. A mastectomy can be avoided if the cancer is diagnosed and treated early.
Where do I begin?
Discussing breast reconstruction can begin as soon as one is diagnosed with cancer. Those considering breast reconstruction should not only consult their Breast surgeon, but also find a qualified surgeon to perform the reconstruction.
How is Breast Reconstruction Performed?
Breast reconstruction is usually performed in a hospital, under general anesthesia. This is a major operation that may require more than one procedure (2 or 3 stages with 3 months intervals).
The First Stage:
During the procedure, the affected breast is removed through mastectomy. There are various options to post-mastectomy reconstruction. The following are the two most common forms:
I - Skin expansion:
This is the most common technique. It involves skin expansion, combined with insertion of an implant.
After the breast is removed, a balloon expander is inserted beneath the skin and chest muscle.
Saline is injected periodically to gradually fill the expander.
Once the breast tissue has been stretched enough, the expander is removed and a more permanent implant can be placed.
The nipple and areola are reconstructed in later procedures.
This involves the creation of a skin flap using tissue taken from other parts of the body, like the abdomen, back or buttocks.
This procedure also has its own variations:
A- In one type of flap reconstruction, the tissue remains attached to its original site, which retains its blood supply.
The flap, consisting of the skin, fat, and muscle, are tunneled beneath the skin to the chest.
This creates a pocket for the implant or, in some cases, it creates the breast mound itself, in which case, no implant is needed.
B- Another technique involves using tissue that is surgically removed from the abdomen, thighs, or buttocks, which is then transplanted to the chest by reconnecting the blood vessels, through microsurgical technique, to new ones in that region.
The Second Stage:
This is the stage of reconstruction of the nipple and areola. It could be done by tattoo, free grafting or local skin flaps.
The Third Stage:
This is the final stage, where mastopexy, reduction or augmentation of the other normal breast could be done to achieve the symmetry.
N.B. Breast implants are silicone shells that are filled with either saline (salt water) or silicone-gel. For more information on breast implants, you can find more in the Breast Augmentation.
How Much Pain is Associated with Breast Reconstruction?
There is always a considerable amount of pain after surgery, especially in a procedure as extensive as breast reconstruction and mastectomy. You are likely to feel tired and sore for a week following surgery. Prescribed medication can control most of the discomfort.
What is the road to recovery like?
It may take up to three weeks to recover from a combined mastectomy and reconstruction. Most scars should fade over time, but they may take one years and never fully disappear. Generally, women return to normal activities about three to six weeks following reconstruction.
Chances are your reconstructed breast may feel firmer and look rounder or flatter than your natural breast. It may not have the same contour as your own breast, nor will it exactly match your opposite breast.
What Are the Risks and Limitations of Breast Reconstruction?
All surgeries carry risks, including bleeding, fluid collection, scar tissue, or difficulties with anesthesia.
For those who undergo breast reconstruction, the most common complication is capsular contracture, where the scar or capsule around the implant begins to tighten. This can cause the breast to feel hard. However, early manipulation of the prosthesis and massage will overcome this complication.
Are there other alternatives?
Immediately after mastectomy, some may choose to wear an External Breast Prosthesis instead of undergoing reconstruction. Some women even choose to live the rest of their lives without breasts. The decision to undergo a breast reconstruction is entirely up to the patient.
How Much Do Breast Reconstructive Procedures Typically Cost?
Often the price says nothing about the quality of the work. Most multicenter clinics charge much more than private doctors — their advertising budget is more and the owner of the clinic has to take his 20% or 30% off the top. In my opinion, you are less likely to get a quality procedures at these multi-center locations.
Although price is a factor when deciding on surgery, the most important factor is that you feel you are getting a good quality, natural-looking result from the procedure.
Breast Reconstruction costs are variable according to the used technique. Usually the cost is ranging from 3000 to 6000 U.S. dollars. When dealing with costs, you also need to take into consideration the fact that the procedure may need to be retouched. Most medical insurance providers cover the procedure.
Frequently asked questions from patients when considering Breast Reconstruction?!
Q - What is the type of anesthesia, and when I can return to normal life?
A - General anesthesia, and you can practice your normal life 2 days up to few weeks.
Q - What are the symptoms that may occur in the first five days after Breast Reconstructive procedures?
A - Soreness which could be managed by pain killer’s medications and there may be edema or swelling.
Q - What are the guarantees that the success of the process?
A - There is no doubt that the followers of the medical instructions and close follow up visits are the main factors for the success of any surgical procedure.
Q - When can we get the final results?
A - The final results is achieved after the first three months.
Q - Is the reconstructed breast seems naturally?
A - In shape but in consistency (harder).
Q - What is ideal age for breast Reconstruction?
A - It could be done at any age.
Q - If you are not Egyptian, What is the minimum period for follow up?
A - Three weeks.
Q - What are the contraindications of Breast Reconstructive procedures?
A - There are no absolute contraindications but the patients should inform their surgeons about any allergies, serious medical conditions, and medications they may be taking. Smokers should stop smoking 2 weeks before surgical procedures to promote the healing process.
Q - Where will the Breast Reconstructive procedures be performed?
A - In hospital with 2 days postoperative stay.
Q - How much does breast reconstruction cost and what elements factor into that cost like hospital fees, anesthesia, and so on?
A - Ranging from 3000 to 6000 U.S. dollars. Medical insurance cover these procedures.
Q - What is the surgeon’s level of experience in performing Breast Recosntructive procedures?
A - Consultant or Doctoral in Plastic surgery.
Q - What percentage of patients experience complications with these procedures?
A - 10 - 12%
Summary of Breast Reconstructive Procedures:
The time of the procedure:
from 3 to 6 hours.
Type of anesthesia: General.
Location: hospital with 2 days postoperative hospital stay.
Expected Side effects: Temporary swelling and pain.
Recovery time: return to work after 2 weeks and the final outcome within first year.
Cost: according to procedure ranging from 3000 to 6000 U.S. dollars, or 16,500 to 35,000 Egyptian pounds.
Results: permanent results.
May be this is too expensive in your country. Or just you look for privacy and discretion.
May be you are considering having this surgery abroad, but with safety and confidence.
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