What is Breast Reconstruction?
The goal of breast reconstruction is to restore one or both breasts to near normal shape, appearance, symmetry, and size following mastectomy, lumpectomy, or other trauma. Breast reconstruction often involves several procedures performed in stages and can either begin at the time of mastectomy or be delayed until a later date.
Breast reconstruction generally falls into two categories: implant based reconstruction or flap reconstruction. Implant reconstruction relies on breast implants to help form a new breast mound. Flap reconstruction uses the patient’s own tissue from another part of the body to form a new breast. There are a number of factors that should be taken into consideration when choosing which option is best:
- Type of mastectomy
- Cancer treatments
- Patient’s body type
Following your surgery, gauze or bandages will be applied to your incisions. An elastic bandage or support bra will minimize swelling and support the reconstructed breast. A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid. A pain pump may also be used to reduce the need for narcotics. You will be given specific instructions that may include how to care for your surgical site(s) following surgery, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the risk of infection and specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health. You can expect to have several visits with Dr. McDonald depending on where you are in the reconstruction process.