For women who have undergone a mastectomy on one or both of their breasts, they often feel that life cannot go back to normal until their body feels “whole” again. A breast reconstruction surgery to replace their lost breast with an implant often aids them in regaining that feeling of being whole.
About the Procedure
The time it takes to recover after a breast reconstruction procedure greatly depends on the specifics of your surgery. When you come into our cosmetic surgery practice in Frederick, Maryland, Dr. Kress will evaluate you and give you a better idea of what to expect during recovery.
Women choosing this procedure are able to balance the shape and volume of their breast, creating a more natural appearance, improving their self-confidence and eliminating concerns about asymmetrical breasts.
Breast Reconstruction FAQs
What if my natural breast does not match my reconstructed breast?
The ultimate goal of reconstruction is to create a breast that is symmetrical with the remaining natural breast. Sometimes, getting the reconstructed and natural breasts to match is difficult unless surgery is performed on the natural breast, too. For some patients, this may involve placing an implant in the natural breast to make it larger (augmentation); making the natural breast smaller or less droopy by reducing the tissue (reduction), or lifting the breast skin (mastopexy). Your surgeon will discuss these options during your consultation. This “balancing procedure” is often done 3-6 months after your first surgery, to make sure the reconstructed breast has healed and is the desired size and shape.
I may need chemotherapy, can I still have implants?
Women who need chemotherapy after the mastectomy are still candidates for implants. Sometimes we need to adjust the surgery date based on your chemotherapy schedule. For example, we will postpone your second stage surgery (to remove tissue expanders and place the implants) until you have recovered from your chemotherapy. Dr. Kress and your medical oncologist will decide what is best for you. Women undergoing chemotherapy may also take longer to heal from incisions. The impact of this is normal and expected.
I may need (or have already had) radiation to my breast area. Can I still have implants?
Radiation on implants is something that needs to be discussed carefully with your surgeon. It is true that women who have implants and radiation are at higher risk for complications, such as capsular contracture and implant loss.