There’s no need to wait to get breast implants after a mastectomy. If you are considering mastectomy and then breast implants following the operation, here’s what you should know.
It’s Completely Your Choice
Whether you choose to get implants immediately after your mastectomy or wait a period of time is your choice to make. Be sure to discuss this in detail with your surgeon, who can give you a clear picture of what to expect at every stage.
Dr. Kristi Funk, who reconstructed Angelina Jolie’s breasts after her mastectomy, wrote a detailed report in the Pink Lotus Breast Center website blog: “Reconstruction options vary depending on a number of factors,” she wrote. “Two improvements which I believe can enhance the final outcome for those patients choosing implants include: (1) the newly FDA-approved anatomic implants, which are teardrop shaped, and (2) allograft, or synthetic sheets of material, that create a more natural look.”
Whether you remove one or both breasts, you can choose to have them rebuilt with implants. The implants will be either saline or silicone, or you may choose to use tissue from elsewhere in your body.
Your surgeon may suggest you get your breasts reconstructed at the same time of the mastectomy so that the healing for both operations can happen all at once. This is called immediate breast reconstruction Houston. Many patients choose this option. It doesn’t mean that you will leave the hospital with implants in already, but you will start the implant process.
If you choose to wait, you can still get implants at a later date. Perhaps you would rather wait until you have finished the full breast cancer therapy. You can get implants at any time — even years down the line.
During Breast Reconstruction
When you undergo a mastectomy, your breast skin can be saved for the reconstruction process. Your surgeon will place implants under your chest or skin in two stages.
First, a tissue expander is inserted. It will be filled with saline and start to inflate. This tissue must heal, and this process may require a few visits to the doctor. Once the tissue has finished healing, the surgeon will replace the expander with the breast implant. After the mastectomy, this step will be performed about two to six months later.
For your breast reconstruction, the surgeon may use tissue from other body parts, such as your tummy or buttocks. This is known as autologous tissue reconstruction.
The Rehabilitation Stage
Expect to undergo physical therapy during this last stage. You may feel quite weak after your surgery, and physical therapy can help you regain lost strength needed to perform everyday activities. You will be given specific medications for this healing process, as well as recommended vitamins to help speed up the wound healing process.
How to Choose Your Breast Surgeon
The best breast surgeon for you will be the one with whom you feel comfortable talking. Undergoing a mastectomy is not a light procedure. You will be dealing with all kinds of emotions and need proper care and support.
When choosing a plastic surgeon in Houston, make sure you ask all the questions you have on your mind. This is one journey where you will need a strong, secure hand to hold throughout, so choose a doctor who makes you feel at ease and at peace.