Breast Cancer Reconstruction Surgery

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Breast Cancer Reconstruction Surgery with expander Implant:- aka Breast Cancer Reconstruction, Mastectomy reconstruction, breast reconstruction


Breast cancer reconstruction surgery is a common cosmetic procedure that is preformed after a woman’s breast or breasts are removed due to breast cancer. This surgery is designed to rebuild the woman’s breast tissue, close to the original size and shape that the woman had prior to the surgery. Breast reconstruction surgery can be performed without an implant or with an implant.




What is it?


Breast cancer reconstruction surgery with an expander implant is designed for patients who need to expand their current breast tissue prior to inserting an implant. Women who have small breasts or tight breast pockets are likely candidates for this procedure. The most common form of implant used for this procedure is a saline filled implant. While saline implants are the most common, women also choose among silicone implants as well for their reconstruction.




The Operation


In a one stage breast reconstruction procedure, the mastectomy is performed at the same time as the breast reconstruction procedure. Once the surgeon has removed the breast tissue, it is replaced with an implant.


A two stage reconstruction procedure is where the mastectomy is completed during one stage and where the breast reconstruction phase is completed in another surgery. This two stage procedure is done often when women have flatter chests or tighter skin. In many cases, a small balloon like device is placed underneath the skin to stretch it out for an implant in between the procedures, called an expander implant.




Alternatives to Surgery


Some women choose not to have this cosmetic procedure done after their breast tissue is removed due to breast cancer. In this instance, there are bra enhancers and other non-cosmetic items that can help a woman to feel as though she still has the look and feel of breasts while fully clothed.




Before the Operation


The plastic surgeon will often review specific instructions that will need to be followed prior to surgery, such as eating and drinking the day before. It is important to follow each of these instructions prior to the procedure in order to achieve the best possible outcomes from surgery.




After the Operation- In the Hospital


In the hospital, the recovery phase is typically the time that the patient will be awaking from anesthesia. Also, each medical facility or physician will have specific requirements that the patient must meet prior to their departure from the hospital, most often including sitting up and keeping down fluids. It is important that the patient have a driver to take them home following the procedure.




After the Operation- At Home


After the procedure, it is likely that the patient will experience discomfort for several days and that it will take several weeks to fully recover. Your surgeon may use a drain, and if so there will be a follow up appointment within a few days to remove this. It is important to follow the instructions from the physician fully to avoid any complication while healing at home. If the patient notices any abnormalities, it is important to notify your surgeon immediately.




Possible Complications


While not all patients will experience side effects or complications from their surgery, it is important to take them into consideration when making the decision to have this cosmetic surgery procedure.

Some risks of reconstruction surgery are:

  • bleeding 
  • fluid collection with swelling and pain 
  • excessive scar tissue 
  • infection 
  • tissue necrosis (death) of all or part of the flap 
  • problems at the donor site (immediate and long-term) 
  • changes in nipple and breast sensation 
  • fatigue 
  • the need for additional surgeries to correct problems 
  • changes in the affected arm 
  • problems with anesthesia



General Advice


As this is a cosmetic procedure, it is important to fully consider the risks and rewards of the surgery prior to committing to it. Also, when selecting a cosmetic surgeon, be sure to ask questions about the procedure, the side effects, whether you are a suitable candidate for the procedure and about their personal experience. It is advised to interview with several surgeons prior to making your final selection.




Estimated Cost for Breast Cancer Reconstruction Surgery


Country Cost
USA $6,000-8,000
Brazil $5,000
Costa Rica $4,200
South Africa $3,500
Thailand $2,500-4,000

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