Breast Reconstruction

Breast Reconstruction

Breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure for women who have had a part or their entire breast removed due to mastectomy or any other mishap. It rebuilds the mound of the breast to match the other breast.

What is Breast Reconstruction Surgery?

The world over, more than 10 lakh women are diagnosed with breast cancer annually. For those who are in the initial phase, the focus has now shifted from total mastectomy to breast preservation. Partial mastectomy, including lumpectomy or quadranectomy has been proven to be as effective as total mastectomy for women with localized breast cancer. However, mastectomy frequently results in breast asymmetry, scarring and noticeable volume reduction of the breast. Breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure for women who have had a part or their entire breast removed due to mastectomy or any other mishap. It rebuilds the mound of the breast to match the other breast.

As technology advances, the awareness and treatment options available for diseases of the breast are improving. However, there are instances when partial or complete mastectomy is the only recourse. Breast reconstruction is needed if a woman wants to improve her appearance post surgery. If you want to rebuild the shape and looks of a breast post any surgery, it might be a good idea to talk to your Cosmetic Surgeon before the operation. The surgeon will consult with the operation team before the breast or tumour is removed, allowing him / her to plan the breast reconstructive surgery in the best possible way later.

A few important points to note before Breast Reconstruction Surgery

  • The breast reconstruction surgery is a cosmetic surgery procedure, not a plastic surgery. In other words, it is an elective procedure
  • A woman can choose to opt for mastectomy and a breast reconstruction procedure at the same time
  • Implant breast reconstruction is almost always a two step procedure
  • Depending upon which option you choose, the recovery period for breast reconstruction varies from one week to about eight weeks (two months)
  • Implants are not permanent; they need to be replaced every ten years or so

Breast Reconstruction Options

As of now, there are two major options for breast reconstruction surgery procedure. While newer techniques are being developed for breast reconstruction surgeries, all the methods have their pros and cons. That is why it is important to consult your plastic surgeon before choosing an option.

  • Silicone shell implants filled with silicone gel or saline
    Implants involve stretching the chest skin with a tissue expander, and then inserting the desired implant after some days
  • Tissue flap
    These procedures use tissue from the woman's back, thighs, tummy or buttocks to reconstruct the breast. Depending on from where the tissue has been taken, it is termed either TRAM flap (tissue taken from the abdomen), latissimus dorsi flap (tissue taken from back), gluteal free flap (tissue taken from the buttocks) or Inner thigh or TUG flap (uses tissue from the inner thigh)

Choosing which type of breast reconstruction to have

Your surgeon will review your medical history and overall health, and will explain which reconstructive options might be best for you based on your age, health, body type, lifestyle, goals, and other factors. Talk with your surgeon openly about your preferences. Be sure to voice any concerns and priorities you have for the reconstruction, and find a surgeon you feel comfortable with. Your surgeon should explain the limits, risks, and benefits of each option.

Some of the factors you and your doctors will need to think about when considering your options include:

  • Your overall health.
  • The size and location of your breast cancer.
  • Your breast size.
  • The extent of your breast cancer surgery (lumpectomy or mastectomy).
  • Whether you want reconstructive surgery on one or both breasts
  • Your desire to match the look of the other breast
Dr Shrirang Pandit Cosmetic, Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Shrirang Pandit

MBBS, MS, Mch (Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon)

Meet Dr. Shrirang Pandit

Dr. Shrirang Pandit is the founder of the Pandit Clinic. He has an experience of 30+ years in plastic surgery. He is a renowned name in the industry and pioneer of aesthetic lasers in India. Dr. Shrirang Pandit has performed numerous surgeries on children with facial clefts, managed patients with burn injuries and also has a large experience with lasers on Asian Indian skin. He has attended various laser workshops and courses as faculty and is keen on educating the next generations. He is a life member of all the top plastic surgery associations like Association of Plastic Surgeons in India, Association of Surgeons of India, Indian Association of Cosmetic Laser Surgeons, to name a few. He also acts as a key opinion leader for Ultrashape Inc., Lumenis Inc, VASER Sound Surgical Technologies, USA

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