What is Breast Reconstruction?
Breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure that is done to enhance the size and shape of a patient’s breast following mastectomy. Volume is added with the use of breast implants, which come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials to choose from, or with the patient’s own tissues. Dr Fichadia feels honored to be a part of your journey to fight cancer. She understands that a new diagnosis of breast cancer can be overwhelming. Her goal is to ensure that you are well-informed without feeling overwhelmed as you process all the treatment options. She is a regular presence at the Providence St Vincent’s multidisciplinary breast conference where individualized cancer treatment plans are formulated.
Who is a Candidate?
Breast reconstruction has been shown to have tremendous psychologic benefits after a mastectomy. In order to be considered for a breast reconstruction, you should be cleared by your oncologist and have realistic expectations for the best possible outcome.
A patient may consider a breast reconstruction if:
- They have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer that has resulted in a mastectomy.
- A patient is left with breast asymmetry and they are looking for breast reconstruction regain balance.
- They are looking to regain a sense of normalcy or femininity to their body that they may have lost due to breast cancer.
During your consultation with Dr. Fichadia, she will review your reconstructive options as well as provide her recommendation to help you achieve your specific aesthetic goals. Just like for breast augmentation, there are a variety of implants that can be used to address a patient’s unique aesthetic concerns. In addition to these factors found in a normal breast augmentation, Dr. Fichadia can also reconstruct the breast or breasts using a patient’s own fat, skin, and muscle.
Initially, Dr. Fichadia may feel that a tissue expander is necessary to insert underneath the skin and muscle to help create space for a breast implant. This allows the skin and muscle to expand gradually to form a pocket for the implant. If you have an adequate amount of space for the implants without needing a tissue expander first, you may be able to have implants inserted right away. Dr Fichadia has experience with nipple sparing mastectomies, and prepectoral reconstruction in the right candidate.
The most common types of breast implants used for augmentation and reconstruction are saline and silicone. Saline allows the option for changing breast size without surgery while silicone would require surgery to change the implant size.
Results and Recovery
The results you can expect to experience with a breast reconstruction are the renewal of the physical normalcy that you may have been missing as a result of a single or double mastectomy. It is important that you prepare your home and coordinate with a friend or family member to help you while you recover. Dr. Fichadia will review your recovery instructions with you before you are released. It will be important for you to follow these instructions carefully for a smooth recovery.
If you are interested in learning more about the breast reconstruction process, contact Dr. Fichadia’s office today to schedule a consultation.