Treatment

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Treatment

Chapter: 6 - Treatment

Subchapter: 4 - Breast Reconstruction

Following a mastectomy, you have options to help you become comfortable with the changes in your body. They are all options, with benefits to each approach. What is best for you and your body may not be what is best for another woman.

If you are considering breast reconstruction, you should speak with your medical team before the mastectomy, even if you plan to have your reconstruction later on.

Reconstruction Methods
There are a few of options for breast reconstruction, and which one you use will depend on your age, body type, and treatment plan.

Implants
One possibility is to have breast implants. The breast is filled with silicone sacs of saline or silicone gel.

TRAM Flap, Latissimus Flap, or Gluteal Flap
An alternative solution is to use tissue the surgeon removes from another part of your body, like the belly (TRAM), back (latissimus), or buttocks (gluteal). The surgeon sculpts this tissue into the shape of your breast.

Surgical Summary
In addition to reconstructing the breast, the surgeon can add a nipple, change the shape or size of the reconstructed breast, and operate on the opposite breast as well for a better match. The plastic surgeon will be able to discuss with you the benefits and risks of each procedure, and help you decide what will make you feel the most natural.

Alternative to Breast Reconstruction
One alternative to breast reconstruction is a removable prosthetic breast that is worn in the bra. This will preserve the shape and look of the breast without the surgical procedures.

Summary
Whether you undergo breast reconstruction, wear a prosthetic breast, or choose to embrace the changes you have experienced, you should make a decision that is right for you. The goal is to prevent the discomfort of change, while enabling you to accept what has occurred and continue on with your life.

Related Questions

  • Missing

    How long after surgery (double mastectomy) can you shower?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 1 Patient
    over 1 year ago 3 answers
    • anonymous
      Patient

      I had mine on Thursday and showered today - sponged bathed the other days. The biggest reason I waited was because I was nervous.

      Comment
    • anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      I showered the next morning after I came home from the hospital. Just wore a little apron with pockets to hold my drain bulbs and then pat dry and blow dry well. Sure makes you feel better :) -prayers for complete healing and restoration.

      Comment
  • Has anyone had a Seroma appear weeks after surgery? It am 8 wks post op and thought I was all healed up and now this!

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2B Patient
    over 2 years ago 3 answers
    • anonymous
      Stage 0 Patient

      Oh my, my answer was not finished LOL. Anyway, the Walgreens had a cold pack that was really handy. I just put it in the freezer and it was all ready for me in no time. I also bought a cool pad from Walgreens to lessen the side effects from tamoxifen *hot flashes. with my seromas, I found...

      more

      Oh my, my answer was not finished LOL. Anyway, the Walgreens had a cold pack that was really handy. I just put it in the freezer and it was all ready for me in no time. I also bought a cool pad from Walgreens to lessen the side effects from tamoxifen *hot flashes. with my seromas, I found keeping my arm elevated helped too. I do understand you discomfort, but know it will get better. Some surgeons do no like to drain them. My surgeon drained ony one, and only once. It really helped for only a short period of time. The cold packs helped most. Take care and know that it will get better. Hugs P.

      1 comment
    • anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I did not have this happen but had to go wander the internet to quell my curiosity. I found this rather straightforward explanation. It is something that --just happens--. If it were happening to me, my question would be "WHY ME?" I hope someone answers you with personal experience. For the...

      more

      I did not have this happen but had to go wander the internet to quell my curiosity. I found this rather straightforward explanation. It is something that --just happens--. If it were happening to me, my question would be "WHY ME?" I hope someone answers you with personal experience. For the rest of us.... here is an explanation of a seroma and why it happens. I hope this will be the last negative remnant of your surgery.
      Take care, Sharon
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      Mastectomy or surgical breast removal often leads to this abnormality. The operation is usually carried out to get rid of a malignant tumor in the breast. Seroma after breast surgery happens if the blood vessels of an area near the operated region accidentally suffer damage during surgery. The rupture of the blood cells gives rise to an inflammatory response in the body which releases blood plasma. The blood plasma is a colorless watery liquid of the blood. It usually suspends blood cells like leukocytes, thrombocytes and erythrocytes. This fluid, also known as serous liquid as it contains serum produced by the serous membranes of the body, gets accumulated as lumps under the skin. Seroma after mastectomy is a common condition.

      2 comments
  • Which is better: saline or silicone implants? A lot of people have said to go with saline. (I don't know the difference between them)

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 2 years ago 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Missing
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Silicone is now just as safe as saline and feel like the real deal.

      Comment
    • anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      I had silicone implants put in one week ago and I am amazed at how much they feel like my "old breasts." You should be able to get some literature from the plastic surgeon on the pros and cons of each. I feel like I made an informed decision and consider mine to be lifetime implants.

      Comment

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