A breast cancer diagnosis brings with it quite a few details to understand. A woman has much more to cope with than her specific diagnosis. To preserve health, it is necessary to decide quickly how she wishes to address your situation. Treatment itself is often quite physically and emotionally taxing. Then, if part of the treatment plan involves removing one or both breasts, there is the matter of future appearance. We are fortunate that there are excellent reconstructive options available today. What is important to the patient is understanding why she may want breast reconstruction, how that reconstruction may be done, and whom she will trust with her reconstructive journey.
The objective of breast reconstruction is to give a woman back the natural appearance of her bust line. This means that the breast mound may need to be rebuilt, with an eye for symmetry between the two breasts. The reason that women choose to go through this process of rebuilding is that it can give closure to what has come before while also renewing her connection with her body.
Breast reconstruction is ultimately about the patient. If you are considering reconstruction at this time, know that your surgeon will work closely with you and your oncologist to develop a strategy that is appropriate for your current status and your desired outcome. Factors that may influence the surgical process include:
- Your general body type and health
- The type and stage of cancer that had developed
- The inclusion of any further cancer therapies
Breast Reconstruction may involve breast implants or your own tissue.
More women are familiar with breast implants as a way to restore breast shape. Implants are available in saline and silicone models, with silicone often being preferred due to softness. Reconstruction with implants may involve two phases. First, it may be necessary to place expanders beneath the breast tissue to expand it. Expanders are gradually inflated to achieve this over six to eight weeks. After the expander has settled and surrounding tissue has accommodated its size, it can be removed and replaced with a breast implant.
Tissue-based reconstruction, known as flap reconstruction, may be conducted using various techniques. This process may be slightly more complex, but some women prefer using only their own tissue to rebuild the breast mound. This feels the most natural because it is fat, muscle, and skin from her own body. Like implant reconstruction, flap surgery is planned after a thorough consultation and coordination between the oncology team and the surgical team.
Choosing Whom You Trust for Breast Reconstruction
The team at the Chicago Breast Center is at the forefront of breast surgery, including proven reconstructive techniques. Our services don’t just restore shape, the can restore quality of life. Learn more about your options for breast reconstruction. Schedule a consultation at (312) 266-6240.