Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women in the United States, and studies estimate that around 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime. Breast cancer is also the primary reason why a woman may have all or part of one or both breasts removed – a procedure called a lumpectomy (part of the breast) mastectomy (the entire breast). Some women have breast tissue removed as part of their treatment, while a small percentage of women choose an elective mastectomy, not because they currently have breast cancer, but because they have been identified as being at particularly high risk of developing breast cancer in the future. This identification is usually made through a family history of the condition, or genetic testing.
If you are having or have had all or part of your breast removed, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Faulkner will be able to restore your natural curves using a very safe and effective procedure known as breast reconstruction.
The goal of breast reconstruction is to restore the natural shape, symmetry and overall size of the breasts following a mastectomy or lumpectomy. It can also be used to correct congenital breast deformities. You may have the option of starting your breast reconstruction at the time of your mastectomy/lumpectomy, or you may prefer/need to recover from the first procedure and have your breasts restored at a later time.
Reconstruction can normally be performed in one of two ways and Dr. Faulkner will be able to advise you which will be best for you based on your individual circumstances. Implant reconstruction tends to be the most popular, and as the name suggests, involves the use of artificial implants (saline or silicone), to create new breasts. Some patients are better suited to flap reconstruction, which is where soft tissue is taken from another part of your body and used to repair the breast or create new breast shapes.
Dr. Faulkner will want to assess your breast reconstruction candidacy based on your individual circumstances. There are a number of different things that will be taken into consideration when determining your candidacy for reconstruction.
Candidates for breast reconstruction must be in good overall health and not have any conditions or be undergoing any treatment which could impair their healing time and increase their risk of complications. The procedure takes place under general anesthetic and you must be able to tolerate this too.
If you are having your breasts removed as part of treatment for cancer, Dr. Faulkner will also need to take the opinion of your oncologist into account. If you are having treatment such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy, your oncologist may recommend that you complete this before reconstruction surgery can go ahead.
Breast reconstruction is a personal decision and Dr. Faulkner will want to feel certain that you are undergoing the procedure because you want your breasts reconstructed and not because you are trying to fulfill someone else’s expectations of you.
If you would like to learn more about your options for breast reconstruction and how it can help you to restore your natural curves and confidence, or to schedule a consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Brent Faulkner, by call our office today at (240) 802-8100.
Download Breast Reconstruction Publication