Mastectomies are a required reality for many women in their battle against breast cancer. This can have an impact on their self-esteem, confidence, and sexuality. Breast reconstruction surgery at Recon Plastic Surgery Centre, Hubli, may help these ladies live a better quality of life while also providing psychological benefits.
Breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure that restores the shape of the breast to its natural size, shape, and aesthetic after a mastectomy. A mastectomy is the removal of all or part of the breast to treat or prevent breast cancer.
Surgeons use natural and/or prosthetic materials to build normal-looking breasts for their patients. Oftentimes after mastectomy, the nipple or areola has to be rebuilt completely.
Candidates for a breast reconstruction surgery are:
The consultation for breast reconstruction will include a medical history and physical examination by Dr. Arun Jeedi . The surgeon will also discuss the different types of breast reconstruction and the risks and benefits of each type. The consultation is an important opportunity for the patient to ask questions and learn more about the procedure.
After the consultation, Dr. Arun will develop a treatment plan that is tailored to the individual patient. The treatment plan will take into account the type and stage of cancer, the size and shape of the breast, and the patient’s preferences. The surgeon will also discuss the risks and benefits of the proposed treatment plan.
Breast reconstruction is a complex surgery that requires careful planning. The consultation is an important step in the process, and it is essential that patients feel comfortable asking questions and discussing their concerns with the surgeon.
Breast reconstruction surgery may take 1-7 hours (based on the type of surgery chosen) and is generally done under general anesthesia.
Depending on the disease and medical condition of the patient, breast reconstruction surgery might begin at the time of mastectomy (immediate reconstruction) or later (delayed reconstruction).
Immediate reconstruction starts the process during mastectomy and avoids the need for a second operation. Some patients may require radiation or chemotherapy as part of the treatment for breast cancer. In addition, their immune system may be weakened and getting breast reconstructed immediately may not be ideal. Patients should consult the surgeon and oncologist to determine when is a good time to perform breast reconstruction surgery.
Tissue Expander Breast Implant: During this procedure, the surgeon creates an envelope for the tissue expander in the breast skin and chest muscle. This tissue expander is similar to a saline implant, but it has a valve that allows the surgeon to add saline to make it larger.
The surgeon will then stretch the skin and tissue for the next four to six months, allowing the final implant to be inserted. The size of the implant that may be utilized is determined by the amount of space created in the tissue. Once the tissue has been expanded to the required dimensions, the expander will be removed and replaced with a breast implant.
Some patients may not require the chest and breast tissues to be stretched, allowing them to have implants placed directly during their mastectomy.
TRAM Flap: The TRAM flap procedure uses skin, fat, and muscle tissue from the patient’s lower abdomen. If there is enough fatty tissue in the abdominal region, a TRAM flap may be used to produce a natural-looking breast and does not necessarily need an implant to give fullness. If a patient does not have enough fatty tissue, this approach may not be an option for them.
Despite the fact that this surgery provides a natural-looking breast, there are some drawbacks. It is not possible to repeat the surgery once it has been done.
Since one of the abdominal muscles is removed, the patient may experience weakness in the area in addition to extensive scarring.
DIEP Flap: This type of flap reconstruction also uses fatty tissue from the lower abdomen to reconstruct the breast. The distinction between this technique and TRAM flap reconstruction is that the abdominal muscle is preserved, limiting the loss of strength after the recovery. Like the TRAM flap, this procedure can only be completed once. It is a complex surgery that must be performed by two experts in microvascular surgery. Patients are required to stay in the ICU during recovery.
S-GAP/I-GAP Flap: A GAP (gluteal artery perforator flap) procedure uses skin and fatty tissue from the buttocks to recreate breasts. The S-GAP procedure specifically uses tissue from the upper part of the buttocks. The I-GAP procedure uses skin and fatty tissue from the buttock’s lower area. Both procedures don’t utilize the buttock muscle, allowing the patient to maintain full activity following surgery.
S-GAP or I-GAP flap surgeries are good options for patients who do not have enough fatty tissue in their abdominal region to perform TRAM or DIEP flap surgeries.
The S-GAP and I-GAP procedures take longer than all other flap surgeries. S-GAP and I-GAP can be performed again if the need arises.
LD Flap: This procedure uses a large muscle in the back, as well as the skin and underlying fatty tissue, to reconstruct a normal breast. The use of fatty tissue helps to achieve a more natural-looking breast. A breast implant is sometimes necessary to achieve a natural breast volume in order to accommodate the insufficient quantity of accessible fatty tissue in this region. The soft tissue from the LD (latissimus dorsi) flap covers the breast implant, giving it a natural look.
Fat Graft: Fat graft as breast reconstruction is a delayed reconstruction procedure. The expander is placed in the breast envelope after mastectomy. After a series of expansions over the course of six months, the expander is deflated with the use of a fat graft. Fat is taken from the abdomen and thighs, and the required amount of fat is transferred into the breast envelope.
Patients who have had a breast reconstruction may consider nipple reconstruction if their nipple and areola were removed during a mastectomy to lower the chances of cancer recurrence. This is an outpatient procedure that is generally performed using local anesthesia. Before undergoing nipple reconstruction surgery, it is usually advisable for the tissue to heal following breast reconstruction surgery. The surgeon utilizes the tissue taken from the abdominal flap or back to rebuild the nipple, which is then tattooed to seem as natural as possible.
Only in certain situations, if the surgeon is confident that the nipple is cancer-free, a natural appearance may be restored to the reconstructed breasts by preserving the nipple from the former breast, commonly known as Nipple Sparing Mastectomy.
The recovery time after breast reconstruction surgery will vary from patient to patient and will depend on the type of surgery performed.
After the surgery, patients will be closely monitored by the surgical team.
Patients might experience some pain and discomfort during the initial phase of recovery, which can be controlled with medication. It is also normal to have drains in place for a few days after surgery.
Most patients are able to return to their regular activities within a few weeks. However, strenuous activities and exercises should be avoided for at least six weeks to allow the surgical site to heal properly.
It is important to follow the post-operative instructions given by Dr. Arun Jeedi to ensure a smooth and speedy recovery.
At the OPD consultation, the surgeon will assess the case of the patient, understand the goals and desires and discuss the pros and cons of the surgery to decide the method and technique of surgery. The cost of the surgery will be determined based on this.Book Appointment
Breast reconstruction helps women in a variety of ways. It can restore the look and feel of the breast, improve self-esteem and body image, and help clothes fit better.
Patients may experience changes in sensation in the nipple and skin of the breast. There are some risks associated with breast reconstruction, as with any surgery. These can include bleeding, infection, and formation of scars (incisions).
It is important to note that not all patients will experience complications and that most of the potential complications can be effectively treated.
If you have any queries about breast reconstruction surgery or any other procedure, we invite you for a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Arun Jeedi at Recon Plastic Surgery Centre, where he will thoroughly answer all of your questions.Book Appointment
Dr. Arun Jeedi is a young and dynamic plastic surgeon with extensive practical experience and expertise in the ever-evolving field of plastic, cosmetic, and reconstructive surgery. Whether you are looking to improve your appearance for a special occasion or you need reconstructive surgery after an accident or illness, Dr. Jeedi can help you achieve your goals. He believes that everyone deserves to look and feel their best, and he will work closely with you to create a treatment plan that meets your unique needs.