How To Prepare For Skin Reconstruction After Mastectomy
The idea of undergoing skin reconstruction can seem daunting but as long as you are prepared for the surgery you should find that the process is manageable.
Skin reconstruction can take place in various ways. For some people it is as part of breast reconstruction surgery. For others it may be as a way of minimising scars caused by previous or because of conditions such as tumours.
This blog will briefly look at how you can prepare for skin reconstruction after a mastectomy.
What is the purpose of breast reconstruction surgery?
Breast reconstruction surgery is designed to create new breasts where the previous breasts have been removed. This may be one, or both breasts.
In order to create new breasts, skin reconstruction is necessary. Is to create a natural looking result that leaves the patient feeling confident.
It is worth pointing out at this point that not all women want or choose to undergo any kind of breast or skin reconstruction. It is a personal choice every woman is allowed to make herself.
How does skin reconstruction like this work?
Several procedures and different techniques that can be used depending on the personal circumstances of the patient. What works one patient may not necessarily work for another and it is important that each woman is treated as individual.
For the best cosmetic results, mastectomy patients who will undergo radiation and or chemotherapy are advised to delay reconstruction until their treatments have been completed.
Implants can be used below the skin in order to create the appearance of breast tissue, however, it is important to remember that because the natural tissues have been removed the breasts will not feel exactly the same as before.
Is there a more natural way to approach skin reconstruction?
Yes, patients can choose to not use implants. There are natural skin reconstruction methods available which can also offer aesthetically pleasing results.
During natural skin reconstruction, the surgeon transplants tissue from one area of the body and uses it create a natural looking breast. Surgeons can transfer a flap of skin and fat from the abdomen to create new breast tissue.
This is called the DIEP procedure. Tissue can also be taken from the buttocks and thighs too, depending on what’s agreed will work best for the patient. As it’s the patient’s own tissue it will grow or decrease in size as you gain or lose weight.
Patients often find the new breasts look more genuine and feel more like natural breasts than those reconstructed with implants.
Is there any issues surrounding breast and skin reconstruction like this?
A common problem with implants is capsular contracture. This is when scar tissue (capsule) forms around the silicone implant and it starts to tighten. This makes the breast feel hard and sometimes painful or distorted.
Another problem that sometimes arises is irregular healing. In some cases infection can occur around the wound area which effects the way skin reconstruction heals.
Before undergoing any kind of cosmetic surgery it is important to ascertain all of the facts. Make sure that you are completely aware of all of the risks and complications, as well as benefits that this type of procedure offers.
You can find out more information about breast implants here.
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Would like more information about skin reconstruction for the purpose of rebuilding breasts after mastectomy surgery please contact us. You can also find more information via the treatment pages.