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Breast Reconstruction After Mastectomy:Road to Full Recovery

Breast Reconstruction Surgery

Breast Reconstruction is a surgery for women to restore a removed breast tissue after mastectomy. Through this blog we attempt to give handy information about breast reconstruction surgery to millions of women who are looking forward to leading a quality life after mastectomy. Here you can find some frequently asked questions about breast reconstruction surgery and your road to recovery post mastectomy in India.

What is breast reconstruction?

Breast reconstruction refers to the use of several plastic surgery techniques to restore breast tissue that has shape and size near normal to the natural breast which has been removed after mastectomy.

It may be noted that if only one breast is affected, it can be reconstructed but when it comes to the symmetry of the breasts, a breast lift or breast augmentation or a breast reduction may be done along with reconstruction so as to achieve symmetry of breasts in terms of their size and position.

What are the different types of breast reconstruction?

There are several techniques to reconstruct breast tissue. Breasts can be reshaped with breast implants, use of tissue flap or by combining both. The techniques are discussed below:

a)      Implant Procedures

Implant types and surgeries

The types of breast implants that are commonly used in breast reconstruction surgery are saline and silicone gel implants. Some newer types of silicone gel implants called cohesive gel implants or gummy bear implants are also used that are made of cohesive silicone. They are also known as form-stable implants, i.e – they retain their shape even after any form of cut.

Breast Implant surgeries may be:

·         One stage breast reconstruction – One stage breast reconstruction surgery is done immediately after a breast reconstruction. Once general surgeon removes breast tissue, the plastic surgeon inserts a breast implant to give fullness to the breast. The implant is pit in the space created during the time breast tissue is removed but it requires an extra support.

·         Two stage breast reconstruction – It is a delayed tissue reconstruction procedure in which an implanted tissue expander is put under the skin and chest muscle. It is like a balloon under which the surgeon injects salt-water solution to fill the expander for over 4 – 6 months. Once enough stretching has been done, a second surgery is performed in which the expander is taken out and replaced with a permanent implant. Sometimes expanders are also used as implants.

b)      Tissue Flap Procedures

These procedures involve use of tissue taken from tummy, back, thighs or buttocks to reconstruct the breast. There are two tissue flap procedures that are commonly used – TRAM (Transverse rectus abdominis muscle) flap in which tissue is taken from lower tummy area and Latissimus dorsi flap – The tissue in this flap is taken from the upper back.

Some other flaps are also used but they are highly specialized tissue flap surgeries, e.g – DIEP (deep inferior epigastric artery perforator) flap, Gluteal free flap and Inner thigh flap.

Who is a candidate for breast reconstruction surgery?

Before considering breast reconstruction, you must bear in mind that the procedure you are going to undergo is not for someone else but only for you to feel that wholeness in you that might have dwindled somewhere because of mastectomy.

You are a good candidate for breast reconstruction if you do not have any other medical condition or which may weaken healing. You must be optimistic and should have realistic expectations from your surgery. Your breast reconstruction procedure may start at the same time as mastectomy or may start later after you heal from mastectomy. 

How is a breast reconstruction done?

Breast reconstruction involves step by step procedures:

a)      Administering anaesthesia – The first step is administering medications for the comfort of the patient. It may be intravenous sedation or general anaesthesia depending upon the recommendation of your surgeon.
       b)      Repositioning of the muscle through flap techniques – After a mastectomy, the tissue left on the chest is insufficient to cover or support the breast implant due to which either a flap technique or tissue expansion technique is used to reposition the muscle, fat and skin by creating a mound on the breast tissue.
       c)       Stretching of healthy breast skin by tissue expansion – Tissue expansion technique for breast reconstruction may require a time period of 4 – 6 months after which a second surgery is done to replace the tissue expander with a permanent breast implant.
       d)      Placement of breast implant – Once the breast tissue has expanded through tissue expander, the same is replaced by breast implant if breast implant technique is used for breast reconstruction.
e)      Creation of nipple and areola – There is reconstruction of nipple and areola so as to make the breast mound similar to the natural breast.

How is the recovery like after breast reconstruction surgery?

After your breast reconstruction surgery, gauze or bandage will be applied to your incisions. A support bra will help minimize swelling and drainage tubes will be placed temporarily to drain excess fluid. You will be given instructions as to how to take care of your incisions, about medications, your general well being and further follow-ups with the surgeon.

Why should you choose India for your breast reconstruction surgery?

India has always been looked as one of the most sought after destinations for medical and cosmetic treatment. Every year many people from all over the world come to India for plastic and reconstructive surgeries. The plastic surgeons in India are among the most experienced surgeons and have years of experience in performing complex cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries. The hospitals and cosmetic surgery centers in India are equipped with latest techniques and instruments and have English speaking staff which leaves no chance of communication barrier between the patients and the health care professionals. Moreover the cost of breast reconstructive surgery in India is much cheaper than what one has to pay for the cosmetic treatment in USA or UK.

IndiCure is the most trusted medical travel partner arranging seamless cosmetic and reconstructive breast surgery in India. For more information about Breast Reconstruction Surgery after mastectomy in India, write to or call at +91 9818 462127 or +91 93200 36777.