What is breast reconstruction and how does it work?
Following mastectomy, lumpectomy, or congenital abnormalities, the goal of breast reconstruction is to restore one or both breasts to a near-normal shape, appearance, symmetry, and size.
Breast reconstruction frequently entails a series of treatments that can either begin at the time of mastectomy or be postponed until a later date.
Implant-based reconstruction and flap reconstruction are the two most common types of breast reconstruction. Breast implants are used in implant reconstruction to help build a new breast mound. Flap (or autologous) reconstruction replaces a patient’s breast with tissue from another section of the body.
When deciding which choice is better, there are several aspects to consider:
- Mastectomy Types Cancer Treatments
- Body type of the patient
When it comes to breast reconstruction, who is a good candidate?
Breast reconstruction is a surgery that is very personalized. You should do it for yourself, not to satisfy the demands of others or to conform to some ideal picture.
If you meet the following criteria, you may be a candidate for breast reconstruction:
- You are able to manage your diagnosis and therapy well.
- You don’t have any other medical ailments or illnesses that could slow down your recovery.
- You have a good attitude and set realistic goals for yourself in terms of regaining your breast and body image.
Despite the fact that breast reconstruction can restore your breast, the results are extremely variable:
- A reconstructed breast will not have the same sensation or feel as the breast it replaces.
- Visible incision lines, whether from reconstruction or mastectomy, will always be visible on the breast.
- Certain surgical treatments leave incision lines at the donor site, which is usually found in less visible parts of the body like the back, abdomen, or buttocks.
What is the cost of breast reconstruction?
The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act, signed into law in 1998, mandates that all group health plans that cover mastectomies also cover reconstructive surgery and other post-mastectomy services (such as an external breast prosthesis or lymphedema treatment).
Breast reconstruction surgery following breast cancer is a reconstructive operation that should be reimbursed by insurance. Your coverage, however, may only cover a part of the whole cost. Before undergoing any operation, make sure to check with your insurance company.
The following items may be included in the cost of breast reconstruction:
- Fee for a surgeon
- Costs of a hospital or surgical institution
- Fees for anesthesia
- Medication prescriptions
- Garments to wear after surgery
- Medical examinations and imaging
Remember that the surgeon’s experience and your comfort with him or her are just as crucial as the final cost of the procedure when choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon for breast reconstruction.
Prepare to talk about the following topics during your breast reconstruction consultation:
- Your surgical objectives
- Drug allergies, medical conditions, and medical treatments
- Medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, cigarettes, and drug usage are all factors to consider.
- In addition, your plastic surgeon will:
- Examine your overall health as well as any existing medical issues or risk factors.
- Examine your breasts and take measures of their size and form, as well as the quality of their skin and the location of their nipples and areolae.
- Take pictures.
- Discuss your alternatives and make a treatment plan recommendation.
- Discuss the expected outcomes of breast reconstruction, as well as any dangers or issues that may arise.
Make sure to ask your plastic surgeon any questions you may have. It’s critical to comprehend every facet of your breast reconstruction. To assist you, we’ve put up a list of questions to ask your breast reconstruction surgeon that you may bring with you to your appointment.
It’s natural to experience some worry, whether it’s anticipation of your new look or apprehension about the procedure. Don’t be afraid to express your emotions to your plastic surgeon.