Tissue Flap Surgery for Breast Reconstruction
What To Think About
If you will need to have Reference radiation therapy Opens New Window after mastectomy for breast cancer, your surgeon may want you to wait and have reconstruction after your treatment. Radiation can affect the success of tissue flap surgery.
If you can choose when to have surgery, be sure to discuss the pros and cons of having it at the same time as mastectomy and the pros and cons of waiting until later. Some women want to get started with reconstruction right away. Others may feel overwhelmed by a cancer diagnosis, so they put off the decision to have reconstruction until they feel ready to deal with it. Be sure you understand your options.
Getting a breast implant is easier and quicker to recover from than tissue flap surgery. Some women choose to get a breast implant first and have tissue flap surgery later, when they feel stronger or have more time. For more information on breast implants, see:
It is important to know that your breasts will look different after surgery. Your new breast may feel firmer and look rounder or flatter than your other breast. Some women have surgery on the other breast to make them look as much alike as possible.
Breast reconstruction can be a long process. It may take several months for your breast to heal. And it may be a year before you can see the final result.
The incisions will leave scars on your breasts and wherever the tissue was taken. These will fade with time. The surgeon will try to make incisions that leave as few scars as possible.
Federal law requires insurance companies that cover mastectomy for breast cancer to also cover breast reconstruction. Check with your insurance company to find out what your costs will be.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: May 9, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Douglas A. Stewart, MD - Medical Oncology