When to Have Reconstructive Surgery
Breast reconstruction can be done or started immediately at the time of the mastectomy (immediate reconstruction), or at a time after the mastectomy (delayed reconstruction). The delayed breast reconstruction is usually done for women who will need radiation after the mastectomy, as radiation given after breast reconstruction can cause delayed healing and scarring.
There are other factors that can play into the decision to have reconstructive breast surgery, including:
- Your health
- The type and stage of your breast cancer
- The amount of donor tissue you have available; women who are extremely thin may not have enough extra tissue to enable a flap graft
- The type of surgery you are planning
- The size of the implant or reconstructed breast
Some women prefer not to have to make the decision about reconstruction while dealing with the breast cancer diagnosis. If you find that you are in the same situation, it is probably best to wait until after the breast cancer surgery is completed to make decisions about reconstruction.
However, the more you know about the reconstruction options available to you before a mastectomy can help you approach your surgery with a more realistic outlook about the outcome. It is best to discuss your concerns with Dr. Jugenburg at the time of your consultation.
Types of Breast Reconstruction Surgery
There are several different types of surgery used to reconstruct the breast. These include using a breast implant, and your own tissue flap using a section of your own skin, fat and even muscle taken from your stomach, back or other area of your body, or a combination of the two.