Breast cancer can severely affect a person’s life in many ways. In addition to the mental and emotional toll that chemotherapy has on the body, it may also be necessary for a woman’s health to remove her breasts. If you are a breast cancer survivor and are looking to reclaim your body shape, Dr. O’Neill offers several options for breast reconstructive surgery.
Immediate vs Delayed Reconstruction
The first question you’ll need to answer is whether or not you would prefer breast reconstruction immediately (during a mastectomy) or later on. During immediate reconstruction, your general surgeon completes the mastectomy and your plastic surgeon will begin to reconstruct your breast during the same operation. Immediate breast reconstruction offers many advantages, including the possibility of fewer scars, fewer surgeries, and the possibility of waking up with reconstructed breast(s). Delayed reconstruction may be better for you if you or a member of your surgical team feel that it is best to delay the reconstructive procedure due to post-mastectomy chemotherapy or radiation treatments. This option might be more appealing if you feel like it would be better to treat cancer first and concentrate on breast reconstruction later.
Types of Breast Reconstruction
There are several different ways your breasts can be reconstructed:
- DIEP Flap Reconstruction: when tissue is transferred to the breast using a free tissue transfer.
- Other Flap Procedures: GAP (skin and fat are taken from either your upper or lower buttock), TUG (skin and fat are taken from the inner portion of the upper thigh), or SIEA (uses blood vessels that are found in the fatty tissue below the skin of the abdomen).
- Latissimus Flap Reconstruction: when tissue from your upper back (the latissimus dorsi) is used to create a new breast mound after the original breast has been removed during a mastectomy.
- Breast Implant Reconstruction: a Direct-to-Implant Reconstruction (also known as a One-Stage Reconstruction) or a Tissue Expander-to-Implant Reconstruction (known as a Two-Stage Reconstruction).
O’Neill Plastic Surgery
Here at O’Neill Plastic Surgery, we want you to look and feel your best. If you are a breast cancer survivor and are thinking about getting breast reconstruction surgery, you may want to consider one of these procedures. For any questions about the different types of breast reconstruction, call (843) 881-2130 or contact us online.