If you have had a mastectomy, or need to have one, it can take a significant psychological toll. The breasts are a signifier of womanhood, and not having them can make a woman feel self-conscious. In addition, the lack of breasts is a constant reminder of the breast cancer struggle. However, breast reconstruction can be done in a very natural manner to restore the appearance of the breasts.
If you are thinking about breast reconstruction, call Luxe Plastic Surgery at 281-241-1041 for your comprehensive consultation. We proudly provide services to those who live in Houston, Sugar Land, Katy and nearby areas of Texas.
What Is Breast Reconstruction?
Breast reconstruction is the process of recreating the shape of the breasts following a mastectomy or lumpectomy. It can be done for both breasts, or it can be done for just one. If done on a single breast, every effort will be made to match the existing breast for a natural, symmetrical look.
There are two main types of breast reconstruction surgery:
- Reconstruction using implants
- Flap reconstruction using natural tissue
There are benefits to each type of surgery, and which one you choose will come down to individual preference.
You also have the option to have the reconstruction during your mastectomy or wait until afterwards. While having the reconstruction during the mastectomy will generally provide the best aesthetic results, you may need to wait due to health problems, the need for radiation therapy following your mastectomy, or if you just don't want to deal with reconstruction at the same time as your battle with cancer.
What Are the Benefits of Breast Reconstruction?
Breast reconstruction can have significant benefits for many women. The breasts are one of the main signifiers of womanhood, and losing one or both can be devastating.
Benefits of breast reconstruction can include:
- Restored sense of femininity
- Not having a constant reminder of breast cancer in the form of a missing breast or breasts
- Not having to deal with unwanted public attention
- Not feeling self-conscious in a swimsuit
- Clothes that fit better
- Feeling more "normal"
Choosing to have breast reconstruction is a very personal decision, and ultimately you know yourself best. However, if you do decide to proceed with a reconstruction, we will work together with you to help you choose the best option to achieve your goals.
Breast Reconstruction with Implants
Breast reconstruction using implants is often the easier method, as the recovery time tends to be shorter than flap reconstruction, and it is generally a less complex surgery. However, the shape may not be as natural as with a flap reconstruction, and some women don't like the idea of implants, preferring to use their own tissue.
Reconstruction with implants can be done at the time of surgery if you do not need to have radiation therapy. It can also be done afterwards, in a two-step procedure, in which a tissue expander placed at the time of the mastectomy and is slowly expanded until the skin at the breast site is sufficiently stretched to accommodate an implant.
Even if you do not opt for a tissue expander at the time of your mastectomy, it is still possible to have breast reconstruction surgery at a later date. The breasts may not look as natural upon close inspection if you choose reconstruction later on, but they will look fine in swimsuits and lingerie.
TRAM Flap Reconstruction
A TRAM flap reconstruction uses your own tissue to recreate the shape of the breasts. This procedure often results in breasts that are softer and more natural-looking, and that may respond to natural body changes—for instance, growing during weight gain or shrinking during weight loss. These fluctuations won't occur with implants.
The TRAM (transverse rectus abdominis muscle) flap procedure takes tissue from the abdomen in order to construct a new breast. Dr. Kutty has years of experience performing this procedure and will help you to obtain the most natural results with a minimum of scarring.
Who Is a Candidate for Breast Reconstruction?
Good candidates for breast reconstruction include those who:
- Want to regain their feminine shape
- Will not need radiation therapy or further surgery following their mastectomy
- Are in good overall health
- Are psychologically ready
You may not be an ideal candidate, especially for TRAM flap reconstruction, if you:
- Smoke regularly
- Have diabetes
- Have vascular disease or poor circulation
- Have a connective tissue disease
If you are a smoker, you still may be able to have reconstructive surgery if you are able to quit at least a month in advance, preferably two. Smoking can cause significant complications both during surgery and while healing, so it is not recommended to have any kind of elective surgery while smoking regularly.
In addition, you may still be able to have reconstructive surgery if you are diabetic or have other health conditions, as long as those health conditions are controlled. During your consultation, Dr. Kutty will do a comprehensive review of your current health and medical history to determine which procedure is best for you.
Breast Augmentation or Breast Lift During Reconstruction
If you are having reconstruction done on a single breast, it is possible to have a breast augmentation or breast lift done on the existing breast at the same time. If you'd like to correct a drooping breast or go up a cup size, we can operate on your existing breast and shape the new one to match. Operating on both breasts at the same time also is beneficial for symmetry.
Dr. Kutty can walk you through your options during your consultation so that you are aware of every possibility. We want to help you feel good about yourself and your appearance.
Schedule Your Breast Reconstruction Surgery Consultation
At Luxe Plastic Surgery, we understand the seriousness of breast cancer and the physical and emotional toll it can have on you. That's why we work with you every step of the way to personalize your procedure to achieve the results you desire.
If you are considering breast reconstruction surgery, call Luxe Plastic Surgery at 281-241-1041 today to schedule your consultation. We provide services to those who live in Houston, Sugar Land, Katy and nearby areas of Texas.