Breast Reconstruction Options- Timing Matters
When it comes to breast reconstruction, you’ve got options. Breast reconstruction can be performed at many different times. There are advantages to both immediate and delayed reconstruction, and the best choice for you will depend on your treatment, the therapies needed to treat your cancer, and your preferences. Each option has different benefits and discussing them early on with a plastic surgeon is the best way to find out which option will work best for you.
- Immediate Reconstruction – Immediate reconstruction happens right after a mastectomy. After the breast is removed, a plastic surgeon immediately reconstructs it using tissue from other areas on the body, an implant, or a combination. Most of the work is done during a single operation, and you’ll wake up after your mastectomy with a rebuilt breast. Immediate reconstruction saves a woman from additional reconstruction surgeries later, but requires intricate planning. Your plastic surgeon will need to coordinate with your cancer surgeon so both procedures can be performed on the same day. Certain therapies like chemotherapy and radiation may make immediate reconstruction impossible.
- Delayed Reconstruction – Delayed reconstruction breaks the mastectomy and the reconstruction into two separate events. The mastectomy is performed first and cancer treatments follow. Once you’ve finished your treatment and get the all-clear from your doctor, breast reconstruction is performed. Multiple surgeries may be needed since tissue expanders may be required to make room for an implant. This approach may be preferable in cases when radiation is needed, as this treatment can change the size, shape, and texture of a reconstructed breast.
- Immediate/Delayed Reconstruction – In some cases, initial phases of reconstruction are performed at the same time as the mastectomy, and the reconstruction is completed later. This can be used to preserve the shape of the breasts and the breast skin during radiation treatments.
Is Immediate Reconstruction Right for Me?
If you’re preparing for a mastectomy, schedule a consultation with Dr. Sato to discuss your options. She understands the unique emotional concerns a breast cancer patient is facing and can help you make the right reconstruction decisions for your situation. If you’ve had a mastectomy in the past, Dr. Sato can also help. She’ll explain your options and make recommendations for the best course of treatment for you. Breast reconstruction is typically covered, at least in part, by your insurance provider.
Call and schedule your breast reconstruction consultation today.