Making the decision to have a mastectomy can be difficult, but it is a decision that can save your life. A mastectomy is a surgical procedure that removes all of the breast tissue as a way to prevent or treat cancer. This procedure preserves the breast skin, which allows for a more natural appearance after surgery. Read on to find out how to restore shape to your breast.
What Techniques Are Used For Reconstruction?
Breast reconstruction is a type of procedure used for restoring the breast shape after having them removed. You can choose from a variety of reconstructive procedures. The most common procedures used are breast implants, tissue flap procedures or a combination of both. A tissue flap is a procedure that removes muscle, fat or skin from a part of your body to place in your chest area.
Breast implants are an option for restoring shape. They are filled with salt water or silicone gel. With this procedure, you have the option of placing an implant at the time of your mastectomy. This is called a direct-to-implant post-mastectomy reconstruction.
A direct-to-implant post-mastectomy consists of a surgeon removing tissue and placing the implant. The implant is placed under the muscle in your chest. A mesh or special graft is used to hold your implant in place that looks similar to a sling. The final implant is placed at the same time as your mastectomy.
Tissue Flap Procedures
A tissue flap procedure uses tissue from your buttocks, thighs, back or tummy to rebuild your breast. The two most common types of tissue flaps are DIEP or TRAM. The transverse rectus abdominis muscle (TRAM) flap uses muscle from the stomach. The deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) flap uses skin and fat from the same areas, but do not use the muscle to shape your breast. If there is enough tissue in these areas, then your surgeon will not have to use breast implants.
However, flap procedures require more surgery and take longer for recovery. An advantage is your breasts looks more natural and behave like the rest of your body.
Breast cancer takes a toll on you and your family. After going through such a serious condition, most people want to get back to their normal life.
About 12 percent of women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer at some point. The key to living a normal life is to keep fighting and to explore your treatment options. Reconstructive surgery can help you to return to a normal life and regain your confidence. For more information, consider contacting a physician like Sam W Huddleston IV, MD.