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Breast Reconstruction Immediately After Mastectomy

Not all women undergo breast reconstruction after mastectomy. However, previous study revealed that more American women are choosing to have breast reconstruction after mastectomy. Breast reconstruction after mastectomy helps women maintain body image, restores their breast shape and sense of femininity, and helps in their recovery from the devastating effect of breast cancer.

Trends and Statistics

In the study “Trends and Variation in Use of Breast Reconstruction in Patients With Breast Cancer Undergoing Mastectomy in the United States” (Journal of Clinical Oncology, February 2014), more women undergoing breast cancer treatment are found to have breast reconstruction after mastectomy. Below find the other important findings:

The research, which surveyed 20,560 women undergoing mastectomy for breast cancer from 1998 to 2007, found that:

  • 63% of women had breast reconstruction in 2007, compared to 46% of women in 1998
  • 56% of the women had autologous or flap reconstruction in 1998, compared to 25% in 2007
  • 18% of women had double mastectomy in 2007, compared to 3% of women in 1998
  • Women who had a double mastectomy were more likely to have their breast reconstructed
  • Women who were treated with radiation were less likely to have breast reconstruction
  • Women treated with radiation were more likely to choose autologous or flap reconstruction
  • Older women were less likely to have breast reconstruction
  • Cost of breast reconstruction procedures varied depending on where women resided. Women living in higher-income areas and with more plastic surgeons available were more likely to undergo breast reconstruction

Deciding whether to have your breast reconstructed after mastectomy is a very personal choice. If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer and are planning your mastectomy and considering breast reconstruction surgery, it is helpful to learn about all your options.

Immediate Breast Reconstruction

According to another report from the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the number of women undergoing breast reconstruction immediately after mastectomy has risen sharply in the last few years years. Out of approximately 178,600 mastectomies performed from 1998 to 2008, 51,400 were followed by immediate breast reconstruction. The rate of immediate reconstruction after mastectomy increased between 1990 to 2000 from 21% to 38%, or an average increase of 5% per year.

Breast Reconstruction Techniques

Below are the two techniques currently available for reconstructing breasts. Some women choose to have their breast reconstructed immediately after mastectomy, some choose to have it done much later.

Implant breast reconstruction- This technique involves inserting a breast implant that is filled with saline (salt water), silicone gel, or a combination of the two.
Autologous or flap breast reconstruction- This technique uses your own tissue and blood supply transplanted from another part of your body, such as your belly, buttocks, thigh or back.

Below are some of the things to consider when making your decision about breast reconstruction:

  • How important is it for you to have a permanent breast shape? There are women who prefer to wear a prosthesis instead of having a permanent breast reconstruction.
  • How important is it for you to have breasts that look balanced? Reconstructed breasts results usually look and feel natural. However, you will still be able to see the difference between the rebuilt breast and your other natural breast when you are naked.
  • Will breast reconstruction involve several series of surgeries over a long period of time? For some women, the answer is yes.
  • Will your health insurance cover the cost of the breast reconstruction procedures? Every health insurance is different. Find out what your health insurance company covers.
  • Did you have a lumpectomy, which gives a breast a very different shape? If you had lumpectomy and a very large portion of breast tissue has been removed, you might want to consider getting a breast reconstruction to help restore the shape and balance of your breast.
  • Do you have other medical conditions that might affect your ability to heal after a breast reconstruction surgery? Conditions, such as diabetes or bleeding disorder, impacts your body’s ability to heal after a reconstruction surgery, or any surgery for that matter.

If you are from the Sarasota communities of Ana Maria, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, Palmetto, Parrish and Siesta Key and would like more information about breast reconstruction or would like to schedule a consultation to find out which technique is best for you, contact Palm Aesthetics at (941) 822-8955 or fill out our Appointment Request.

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