For a woman who has lost a breast due to cancer or other disease breast reconstruction is a physically rewarding procedure. Breast reconstruction is possible through a combination of plastic surgery technique that not only create new breasts but also dramatically improve a woman’s self-image, self-confidence and quality of life. The results can not only be natural in appearance but also feel the same as the breast that was removed.
Performed in multiple stages, breast reconstruction can either begin at the same time as the mastectomy or it may be delated until the patient has healed from the mastectomy and fully recovered from any additional cancer treatments that were necessary. What’s most important is the woman is ready for emotional adjustment, and much like losing a breast, some women need time to heal and accept the results of the breast reconstruction itself.
The best way you can learn about breast reconstruction is by having a consultation with Dr. Hardaway who is certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Achieved through several plastic surgery reconstructive techniques, the purpose of breast reconstruction is to restore a breast to near normal shape, appearance and size following the mastectomy, which may include the following:
- Flap techniques that reposition a woman’s own muscle, fat and skin to create or cover the breast mound
- Tissue expansion that stretches healthy skin to provide coverage for a breast implant
- Surgical placement of a breast implant to create a breast mound
- Grafting and other specialized techniques to create a nipple and areola
It is important to note though that results from breast reconstruction can be highly variable. A reconstructed breast will not have the same sensation and feel as the breast it replaces. Visible incision lines will always be present on the breast, whether from reconstruction or mastectomy. In addition flap techniques, will leave incision lines at the donor site commonly located in less exposed areas of the body such as the back, abdomen or buttocks.
Good Candidates For Breast Reconstruction Are Woman Who Are…
- Able to cope well with their diagnosis and treatment
- Do not have additional medical conditions or other illnesses that may impair healing
Individuals with a positive outlook and realistic goals for restoring their breast and body image
Where Do I Begin?
First, you need to consult with Dr. Hardaway and learn how reconstruction can restore your breast’s appearance. Typically, consultations are designed to fully educate you about your options as well as provide you with the comfort and knowledge that you will be in a non-pressured environment that will include the following:
- A discussion of your goals and an evaluation of your individual case
- The options available in breast reconstruction surgery
- The likely outcomes of breast reconstruction and any risks or potential complications
- The course of treatment recommended by your plastic surgeon, including procedures to achieve breast symmetry
Dr. Hardaway will also answer any questions you may have regarding your procedure. Each surgery is highly individualized and is different for every individual as the patient’s anatomy, and personal preference are always take into consideration.
Which Plastic Surgeon Should I choose?
Choosing to have cosmetic or reconstructive plastic surgery is an important decision; so is selecting a plastic surgeon. Consider these important guidelines:
- Board Certification – Not all physicians who perform plastic surgery or who use the title plastic surgeon are board certified in plastic surgery.
- The American Board of Plastic Surgery certify physicians in plastic surgery of the face and the entire body who have accomplished the following:
- Graduate from an accredited medical school
- Complete a minimum of five years of surgical training following medical school, including an accredited plastic surgery residency program
- Pass comprehensive oral and written exams
Privileges – Your surgeon should have operating privileges at an accredited, local hospital for the same procedure you plan to have performed – even if that surgeon suggests your procedure be performed in an accredited office-based surgical facility or at an ambulatory surgery center.