Breast reconstruction is an important procedure that can help the patient in a difficult time. Cancer is a dangerous and frightening illness. Having to face cancer and the loss of her breast is a very difficult process. Breast reconstruction can help to try to preserve some of the patients self-image and lessen the impact of a mastectomy.
There are two types of breast reconstruction, autologous tissue reconstruction and the implant reconstruction. Autologous tissue reconstruction is using your own body tissue from another location to make a new breast. In plant reconstruction is using a silicone implant, similar to what’s used in breast augmentation to reconstruct a new breast. Some of the advantages of autologous tissue breast reconstruction include a breast that is softer and feels more natural, since this is your own tissue once the wounds are healed this tissue will be there for life and not require additional surgery and if the abdomen is used as a donor source you also get a tummy tuck. Implant reconstruction has advantage of a faster recovery and there is no donor site morbidity. The disadvantage may be an implant is a machine and could leak in a lifetime and require additional surgery.
The breast reconstruction can be done as an immediate reconstruction or a delayed reconstruction. The advantage to immediate reconstruction is that the skin envelope left after the mastectomy can be used to generate a more natural looking breast and the patient wakes up from the mastectomy surgery with the breast mound as opposed to a flat chest. The advantage to a delayed reconstruction is that if additional procedures like radiation or chemotherapy are needed these procedures will not damage the newly can reconstruct breasts.
Implant reconstruction has a milder recovery then autologous tissue reconstruction. Autologous tissue reconstruction has additional pain and healing time of the donor site to consider. Most patients will take 6 to 8 weeks to recover from a reconstruction.
The complications associated with a breast reconstruction could be a loss of the reconstruction, wound healing problems, hernia, hematoma, infection, capsular contraction, implant failure and the complications of anesthesia.
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