Breast reconstruction cosmetic surgery is a major decision, requiring serious consideration beforehand. Some breast reconstruction surgeries may involve multiple procedures performed over an extended period of time.
The patient should be mentally prepared to undergo the complete process and have the commitment to follow the surgeon’s instructions throughout.
Patients should discuss any concerns and doubts with the surgeon and assess their suitability for the procedure. The surgeon will work closely with the patient to evaluate her candidacy, and help her make an informed choice.
Characteristics of a Suitable Candidate
Women who have had one or both their breasts removed after breast cancer, are usually ideal candidates for post-mastectomy breast reconstruction surgery. The reconstructive procedure can be performed simultaneously with the mastectomy. Alternatively, a candidate can also choose to have it done after her recovery from breast cancer treatment and mastectomy.
Irrespective of when the breast reconstructive plastic surgery is performed and what technique is used, surgeons recommend candidates to have reasonable expectations from the procedure.
Patients should know that breast reconstruction will not be able to fully incorporate the look or feel of natural breasts. However, the procedure can be very helpful in restoring a woman’s self-esteem with regard to her general breast appearance.
A surgeon will also inform the patient at the outset that not all women who have undergone breast removal will be ideal candidates for reconstructive surgery.
Patients with the following attributes may be ideal candidates for breast reconstruction:
- A patient who wants corrective surgery to restore the shape and size of one or both breasts
- A patient who is completely free of cancerous tissue
- A patient who has responded to breast cancer treatment and mastectomy surgery positively
- A patient who does not smoke, and does not have diabetes or heart disease
- A patient who is agreeable to extended time commitments and multiple procedures
- A patient with realistic expectations
Flap vs. Implant Reconstruction Candidates
For the candidates to choose from surgical processes such as TRAM, latissimus dorsi, DIEP flap, or gluteal, they must not have any such underlying health conditions that may impact the outcome of their surgery. These invasive techniques are more complex than graft reconstruction. It is necessary for the patient to be healthy to sustain the rigors of the procedure.
Candidates looking for the restoration of one breast, also known as unilateral breast reconstruction, may be recommended flat reconstruction surgery. This procedure simplifies tissue migration and works well to match the size, look, and feel of another breast.
The relatively less invasive nature of implant reconstructive surgery makes it preferable for candidates who are comparatively older. This procedure also requires less recovery time. Patients who need reconstruction of both their breasts or women who lack surplus tissue may choose implant reconstruction.
Committed and remarkable cosmetic surgeon Dr. Hisham Seify receives patients from Newport Beach, Orange County, CA, and other towns and suburbs in The Golden State for breast reconstruction surgery.