Breast Reconstruction Surgery in Tucson
A breast reconstruction procedure, or post-mastectomy surgery, repairs breasts after partial mastectomy (lumpectomy) or totally rebuilds the breasts after complete mastectomy. After breast reconstruction, patients regain an intact self-image, feel more confident with their appearance, fit better into clothes, and regain lost feelings of femininity. Tucson, Arizona surgeon, Dr. Eades, Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, can provide these benefits for interested patients.
What Do I Need To Consider Before Breast Reconstruction Surgery?
Post-mastectomy reconstruction is carefully planned for each individual patient. Your type and stage of breast cancer and overall medical situation are important factors to consider when determining the right technique and timing for your reconstruction. Reconstruction started at the time of the mastectomy (immediate) or performed after all treatment is completed (delayed) both provide equally good results. Certain medical conditions, smoking and radiation and chemotherapy treatments can affect the timing of the reconstruction. Dr. Eades can review the options offered in the Green Valley and Vail areas to figure out the best schedule and method for you.
How Can I Prepare For Breast Reconstruction?
Once you have scheduled your surgery, it is important that patients designate a caregiver or helper to assist during recovery time. Caregivers should be able to drive patients home from the hospital or outpatient surgery center and provide assistance the first two to three days after surgery. Comfortable, loose fitting attire such as button up blouses or tops and slip on pants like sweats can make your recovery period easier. Further advice and pre-surgery guidelines will be discussed during your during initial appointment.
What Can I Expect From Breast Reconstruction Surgery?
Breast reconstruction using implants typically requires a series of operations to obtain the final, optimal result. The entire process can take 9-12 months to complete. The initial procedure involves an operation to place a specialized implant called a tissue expander under the muscle and skin at the mastectomy site; the expander is then incrementally filled during a series of office visits over the ensuing weeks by injecting saline solution into it. The tissue expander is left in place for a few months to properly mold and stretch the overlying skin. The second stage involves a return to the operating room where the tissue expander is removed and replaced with a silicone implant. Nipple reconstruction is optional; it is performed about two months later. Breast reconstruction in an area that has received radiation presents some unique challenges and often requires the importation of non-radiated tissue into the area. This can involve a flap of skin and muscle from the back or abdomen, or using a more modern technique where a series of fat injections are made into the area to reverse the damage of the radiation and then routine implant reconstruction is performed, without the need for a flap.