Breast Reconstruction Boston
For women who have lost a breast to breast cancer or other illnesses or trauma, a breast reconstruction can have a powerfully positive effect on their self-confidence and quality of life. While a breast reconstruction does have its limitations, technological advancements are being made every day to create more and more realistic and natural-looking results.
Ideal candidates for free-flap breast reconstruction surgery should be in good health and not suffering from any illnesses which may hinder the healing process. Ideal candidates should have realistic expectations about the procedure and the potential results it may yield. Lastly, they should be in good mental health and able to cope well with the process. Breast reconstruction can start as early as being done in conjunction with a mastectomy, or several months or even years after the removal of the breast.
During the consultation process, prior to the procedure, to determine if this is the right procedure for you, you will be asked a number of questions about your health, goals, lifestyle and concerns. It’s important for both the Plastic Surgeon and you, the potential patient, to be absolutely candid in both your questions and answers in order to ensure a successful understanding of the task at hand.
Your Plastic Surgeon will likely ask about your medical history, your goals and why you want this particular procedure, what you hope to gain from the procedure and any concerns you may have.
Before the surgery your Plastic Surgeon may need you to have some testing done, ask you to stop taking or adjust medicine you are on, or to avoid anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin. Your Plastic Surgeon will give you instruction on what to do on surgery day as well as what to expect during your post-operative care and follow-ups. As with all surgery, there are risks which you will want to discuss thoroughly with your Plastic Surgeon. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! That’s what a consultation is for!
Let’s look at the procedure itself:
- Anesthesia is administered.
- There are a couple different techniques used including a TRAM flap, DIEP or SGAP flap. In a TRAM flap donated muscle, fat and skin from the abdomen is used to reconstruct the breast. In a Latissimus Dorsi Flap, the muscle, fat and skin is donated from the back and tunneled to the reconstruction site.
- Breast implants are used as an addition or alternative to the flap techniques and both saline and silicone implants may be used.
- The incisions will them be closed and bandaged.
Initial results will be apparent right away, but will continue to evolve into the final results as swelling goes down. You will have certain guidelines and activity restrictions to follow as you heal which are put in place for your safety. It’s important to follow them. If you experience any chest pain or shortness of breath, immediately seek medical attention.