According to a report by John Hopkins University, more than 70% of breast cancer survivors who choose not to have a breast reconstruction at the time of their mastectomy don’t realize they have the opportunity to reconstruct their breast or breasts at a later date and time. Every year, Dr. Comizio helps several New Jersey women with delayed breast reconstruction, helping them to finally recover the womanly silhouette they’ve desired for months, or perhaps even years after their mastectomy. A procedure that is covered by health insurance, breast reconstruction can help boost a cancer survivor’s self-esteem and sense of self-image.
What many breast mastectomy patients don’t realize is, even if it’s been years since your natural breast or breasts were removed, you are likely still a candidate for delayed breast reconstruction. Read on as we discuss the two breast reconstruction surgery options for breast cancer survivors – implant-based breast reconstruction and tissue-based breast reconstruction.
Tissue-based Breast Reconstruction
Many mastectomy patients have never considered getting plastic surgery, much less breast implants. For this reason, many New Jersey women who have chosen to delay breast reconstruction like the option of having their breasts reconstructed using their body’s own natural tissue. With a tissue-based breast reconstruction, skin, blood vessels, and tissue are abstracted from your body – typically your abdomen or back – and then used to form a breast via microsurgery techniques.
While tissue-based breast reconstruction is the preferred method for many women who have delayed breast reconstruction, it’s not for everyone. First, you need to have enough donor tissue to harvest for the procedure, so women who are thin may not be candidates for this type of delayed breast reconstruction. Second, because tissue-based breast reconstruction requires incisions and surgery at multiple sites simultaneously, it can be a more complicated surgery and require more recovery time.
Implant-based Breast Reconstruction
Some New Jersey breast cancer survivors choose to forgo tissue-based breast reconstruction and have their breasts reconstructed with silicone or saline breast implants. This procedure is very different from a typical cosmetic breast augmentation. With a delayed implant-based breast reconstruction, tissue expanders are placed under the remaining breast tissue, then inflated postoperatively. After the remaining breast skin has sufficiently stretched, silicone or saline implants are placed.
Delayed implant-based breast reconstruction is not maintenance free. First, if you choose to have silicone implants – the most popular implant type – you’ll need to have an MRI every few years to confirm that the implants have not ruptured. It’s also a two-step surgery – first the expanders, second the implants – and many women who have undergone a mastectomy, even if it was years ago, simply don’t want to have multiple procedures.
Consulting with Dr. Comizio About Delayed Breast Reconstruction
No matter how long it’s been since you had your mastectomy, it’s not too late to think about breast reconstruction. If you are a cancer survivor and are finally ready to say goodbye to prosthetics or regain your curves, reach out to New Jersey’s Dr. Comizio for a consultation about delayed breast reconstruction by calling her office at (973) 775-9248.