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Treatment

 
Treatment

Chapter: 6 - Treatment

Subchapter: 4 - Breast Reconstruction

Following a mastectomy, you have options to help you become comfortable with the changes in your body. They are all options, with benefits to each approach. What is best for you and your body may not be what is best for another woman.

If you are considering breast reconstruction, you should speak with your medical team before the mastectomy, even if you plan to have your reconstruction later on.

Reconstruction Methods
There are a few of options for breast reconstruction, and which one you use will depend on your age, body type, and treatment plan.

Implants
One possibility is to have breast implants. The breast is filled with silicone sacs of saline or silicone gel.

TRAM Flap, Latissimus Flap, or Gluteal Flap
An alternative solution is to use tissue the surgeon removes from another part of your body, like the belly (TRAM), back (latissimus), or buttocks (gluteal). The surgeon sculpts this tissue into the shape of your breast.

Surgical Summary
In addition to reconstructing the breast, the surgeon can add a nipple, change the shape or size of the reconstructed breast, and operate on the opposite breast as well for a better match. The plastic surgeon will be able to discuss with you the benefits and risks of each procedure, and help you decide what will make you feel the most natural.

Alternative to Breast Reconstruction
One alternative to breast reconstruction is a removable prosthetic breast that is worn in the bra. This will preserve the shape and look of the breast without the surgical procedures.

Summary
Whether you undergo breast reconstruction, wear a prosthetic breast, or choose to embrace the changes you have experienced, you should make a decision that is right for you. The goal is to prevent the discomfort of change, while enabling you to accept what has occurred and continue on with your life.

Related Questions

  • Stella Ng Profile

    I’ve received silicon reconstruction surgery in May. I’m planning to travel on a flight that’s approx 24hrs long. Is it safe to travel next month? Will I be at risk with the implants? Please give me your suggestions on how to prepare for my trip. Thanks

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2010
    over 6 years 2 answers
    • teresa clark Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had the same situation a couple if months ago. I conferred with my doctor and they said it shouldn't be any different than pre-implant and they were right. Have a great trip!

      1 comment
    • T H Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      Hi Stella, I am a former flight attendant of 18 years. I myself and many of my coworkers had breast silicone or saline cosmetic breast augmentation. Most of us took 3 weeks before we could return to flying. Now remember its not about the pressure the cabin is pressurized . It is more of a...

      more

      Hi Stella, I am a former flight attendant of 18 years. I myself and many of my coworkers had breast silicone or saline cosmetic breast augmentation. Most of us took 3 weeks before we could return to flying. Now remember its not about the pressure the cabin is pressurized . It is more of a concern lifting and pulling your bags during travel. In my 18 years and my fellow flight attendants still out there with 25 years. I have never known anyone to have a rupture during any normal traveling . Where lose fitting clothes as our bodies tend to swell on flights. And drink lots of water. I had my tissue expander put in and flew 10 days later on a 7 hour flight w/approval from my PS. Get the ok from your PS ... Hope your trip is relaxing and safe. Hugs Tena

      1 comment
  • Beth Bowman Profile

    How many women have to have 3 surgeries before the margins are clear?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 8 years 1 answer
    • Lysa Allison Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I only had 1 surgery and would have had to have another had I not gone through radiation. I had a friend who had 2 surgeries. I would have gone through surgery as many times as necessary to get clear margins. It sounds like you are concerned so I would talk with my doctor about those concerns and...

      more

      I only had 1 surgery and would have had to have another had I not gone through radiation. I had a friend who had 2 surgeries. I would have gone through surgery as many times as necessary to get clear margins. It sounds like you are concerned so I would talk with my doctor about those concerns and maybe he/she can shed some light on why it took 3 times. God bless you and good luck to you.

      4 comments
  • Thumb avatar default

    After a double mastectomy, how do you use the bathroom?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 2 answers
    • Rita Jo Hayes Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2009

      Very carefully and slowly. It does hurt a the first few times, but the more you do it the less it hurts. Good luck.

      Comment
    • Traciann brundage Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I didn't have any issues . Ask for help . Wet wipes helped . The green contrast was the gross part .

      Comment
  • Patricia Carnell Profile

    Are there topical treatments to help with the burn from radiation. I was just diagnosed with Stage 0 dcis and had lumpectomy on Friday last week, surgeon is supposed to set up radiation with an oncologist soon

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 12 answers
    • View all 12 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Hi Patricia, my radiologist gave me Aquaphor. I didn't need it until my second week. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. I'm very fair but tolerated my 16 shots pretty well. Make a list of questions and don't be afraid to ask. Be sure to point out any concerns with your skin to the rad-techs....

      more

      Hi Patricia, my radiologist gave me Aquaphor. I didn't need it until my second week. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. I'm very fair but tolerated my 16 shots pretty well. Make a list of questions and don't be afraid to ask. Be sure to point out any concerns with your skin to the rad-techs. They'll help you when you need to see the radiologist . Mine were fabulous . My chest became an open book for all to read and I wanted it read WELL. :-D

      Comment
    • Doreen Finley Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Can I please just say that I don't even have my full diagnosis or really any understanding of what's going on yet. I'm overwhelmed and scared. I know my breast cancer has spread to several areas. This week I began radiation on lesions of my brain. I believe they are still getting tests...

      more

      Can I please just say that I don't even have my full diagnosis or really any understanding of what's going on yet. I'm overwhelmed and scared. I know my breast cancer has spread to several areas. This week I began radiation on lesions of my brain. I believe they are still getting tests results and planning treatment. However, my radiation techs and nurses have been amazing. They told me of this app. I signed up and browsed questions and FOUND answers. You are all wonderful and I cannot believe how much better I feel in 2 days. Should have dr appt Monday. Already have my list of questions. Today I'm going out o get some creams that were suggested. Just wanted to share my gratitude already Thank you - dor

      Comment

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