Breast cancer is a disease that affects thousands of women each year. While for some it can be treated with chemotherapy without surgery, for others, depending on the severity of the disease, a fraction or the whole breast is surgically removed. Beating cancer is a big victory for everyone who has suffered from the disease. Unfortunately for some women, the prospects of living without a breast(s) can affect them differently. Some of the negative effects include:
- Continuously being mournful, sad, or even anxious
- Relationship status may change
- Intimacy can change.
- Loss of self-esteem and confidence.
Breast reconstruction is a surgery usually done for women who have undergone a mastectomy or lumpectomy after breast cancer with the aim of restoring a natural looking breast or nipple.
Breast Reconstruction Technique Options
A breast reconstruction is not a cosmetic procedure but a reconstructive surgery one. There are different technique options of breast reconstruction which include:
- Implants: This is when the surgeon stretches the skin with a tissue expander that is put inside the breast, then saline or silicone-gel is inserted later in an interval of once a week for up to ten weeks. The sessions are usually painful, but the end result is satisfying.
- Tissue flap procedure (Autologous): In this breast reconstruction technique, the surgeon uses the patient’s own tissue to create a mound that is taken from either the abdomen, thighs, back or buttocks in order to reconstruct the breasts.
- Nipple-spring: For this technique, the surgeon can reconstruct a breast using a preserved surrounding skin and nipple from your own breast, after the mastectomy.
Our Commitment To You
It is perfectly normal to feel uncomfortable with the idea of surgery or injections. Don’t worry, we will guide you smoothly and comfortably along the entire process to allow you to make the best decision. At Al Shunnar Plastic Surgery, our experts have more than 20 years of experience in plastic, reconstruction, and cosmetic procedures and have helped more than 10,000 patients safely achieve their dream of natural beauty and confidence. We will identify the most suitable expert for you, who will listen to you, understand and identify your individual and detailed requirements in a tailor-made consultation, advise you on what you expect from the right breast reconstruction treatment, and ultimately develop the most suitable treatment plan with you.
The Breast Reconstruction Process
a) The Consultation
The first step of a breast reconstruction procedure is having a detailed consultation and examination in the clinic with our board-certified plastic surgeon, to determine a tailor-made plan for each candidate.
b) The Surgery
The second step is to schedule the breast reconstruction surgery with the highly qualified and experienced plastic surgeon who is an expert in breast reconstruction and other breast surgery procedures. Prior to the surgery, each patient is screened to ensure that it is safe to proceed with the surgery. This includes a pre-aesthetic consultation, blood testing and to ensure the patient is a fit candidate for the breast reconstruction procedure.
The breast reconstruction procedure involves preparation which can take up to two hours, thereby the reconstruction itself can take up to six hours under local anesthesia combined with intravenous sedation.
A tissue flap procedure is used to reconstruct the breast(s) by creating a mound taken from the patient’s own tissues either the back, thighs, abdomen or buttocks. The tissues being moved are sometimes attached to the blood supply near the new location. Taking of tissue from the back is known as latissimus dorsi flap, while from the abdomen is known as tram flap.
An implant breast reconstruction procedure involves stretching the skin with a tissue expander and then the saline (salt water) or the silicone-gel is inserted thereafter. A desired volume is filled in the tissue expander in every session that you go to.
The breast reconstruction surgery is conducted in a hospital operating theatre and the patient typically spends 1 night in the hospital after surgery to recover. She can spend more time if required.
The expert plastic surgeon accompanies the patient throughout the entire process of recovery and healing, through scheduled follow-ups.
c) The Recovery
Two to three hours after the procedure the patient is taken to the hospital ward where she will be monitored for 24 hours or more. Pain and discomfort are experienced in the first few days hence pain medication will be recommended during your stay at the hospital.
Vigorous activities will be discouraged but the arms can be moved slightly. One day after the surgery the patient can start sitting and the second day she can try walking slowly. The doctor will discharge you from the hospital when he or she dims it fit.
Over a period of about 4 weeks or more, the patient will typically have several post-operation visits to the clinic to monitor the healing process.
Although a breast reconstruction procedure can be straightforward, it is important that the right level of intervention or treatment is determined and that the procedure, whether minimally invasive or invasive, be performed by a qualified and board-certified plastic surgeon. A potential candidate has to fit into certain criteria to be eligible for the procedure and should have:
- Realistic expectations regarding the expected results.
- Be in good health both physically and psychologically.
- Not have additional medical conditions or other illness which may impair healing
- Be able to cope with the treatment
What To Expect From A Breast Reconstruction
The main benefit of a breast reconstruction is to rebuild the shape of the breast. Since everyone is different, the expected results of a breast reconstruction surgery may vary from person to person, but benefits typically include:
- Bringing out a sense of wellness and peace of mind.
- Restoring intimacy.
- Rebuilding self-confidence and esteem.
Book your appointment for a Consultation
Would you like to understand what the best options for a younger, fresher, better-looking-you are? Meet one of our experts at Al Shunnar Plastic Surgery for a personal consultation, to develop a tailor-made plan for you. Contact us or book an appointment and our patient care coordinators will identify the most suitable expert for you.
Dr. Claudia Alves Silva Machado
Dr. Kamal Sawan
Dr. Buthainah Al Shunnar