Immediate breast reconstruction surgery is typically during or after a mastectomy procedure. This type of procedure is completed by a plastic surgeon. This type of procedure is recommended for a patient who expects to receive radiation following the mastectomy.
During the Procedure
While this type of procedure is taking place, the end of the mastectomy procedure is when the breast implant will be put into its place. This implant will go where the breast tissue was. Whether the patient wants silicone or saline is up to them. This issue will be discussed with your doctor prior to the procedure. The saline is the most common.
There is no need for any more procedures after the immediate breast reconstruction surgery. This procedure is performed once the mastectomy is completed. This will eliminate any risks that may cause the chance of a second surgery. For emotional reasons, some women find this option to make them feel more attractive.
Why this Procedure is Done
Many women get this procedure done after they have had cancer. When a woman has cancer in one of her breasts, the doctor will typically want to take out the tissue to prevent the cancer from spreading to other parts of the body. Some women feel unattractive or unnatural after a mastectomy, so they turn to immediate breast reconstruction surgery.
When to Wait
The American Cancer Society suggests that there should be caution taken when delaying the immediate breast reconstruction surgery for women who know when they will receive radiation. Many women do receive radiation, so it’s essential to wait it out. Radiation can permanently affect elasticity, texture, and skin pigment. The appearance of reconstructed tissue can be affected by going through with this procedure too soon.
When a woman learns that she has intermediate or advanced cancer, she should wait at least six months and up to one year for the procedure. This way all the treatments can be completed. The women who are locally advanced are urged against going on with this procedure.
Chemotherapy and Other Options
It’s a debate whether or not mastectomy patients should wait on the procedure until the chemotherapy is completed. There was a study that indicated there was a 25% increase in follow-up procedures due to cosmetic problems. The issue is that if the chemo is applied too soon after the procedure, it will stop the healing process, leading to an infection.
There are a variety of questions when deciding on when to get the procedure done along with the treatments from the mastectomy. Talking to the doctor is the only way to know your best options for yourself. Every woman’s body is different and some should wait while others can possibly get the procedure done now.