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Breast reconstruction is to reform or reshape the breast(s) after a mastectomy or lumpectomy. A mastectomy is a surgical procedure that removes the entire breast, usually including the nipple and areola, in order to treat or prevent breast cancer. A lumpectomy is the removal of a piece of the breast where there is a smaller tumor. This reconstruction process can help a woman find her self-confidence again and feel better during her cancer recovery.
While many factors determine what kind of breast reconstruction surgery would best suit an individual, there are two main types of breast reconstruction surgery:
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Breast Reconstruction Surgery
Implants or prosthetics: Breast reconstruction with implants is a procedure where silicone or saline implants are inserted underneath the skin or muscle below where the breast tissue was.
Autologous or skin flap surgery: Tissue is taken from another part of the body and moved to the chest to form a breast. The tissue to reconstruct the breast is usually taken from the abdomen but may be taken from other places on the body, including the buttock (Gluteal Flap), back (Tram Flap) or belly (Tram Flap).
The type of reconstruction that is best for you depends on your age, body type, and the type of cancer surgery that you had. A plastic surgeon can help you decide.
Not all women who undergo mastectomies choose to have breast reconstruction done. Some women may choose to wear a prosthetic breast form either inside their bras or attached to their bodies. These artificial body parts mimic the look and feel of the natural breast and provide the body with the weight it needs for good posture.
Recovery time and Risks
You will feel tired and sore for a week or 2 after implant surgery, or longer after a flap procedure (which will leave you with 2 surgical wounds). Your doctor will give you medicines to help control pain and other discomfort.
Depending on the type of surgery you have, you will most likely be able to go home from the hospital within a few days, but required to stay in Bangkok for at least two weeks before traveling home. You may be discharged with one or more drains in place. A drain is a small tube that’s put in the wound to remove extra fluid from the surgery site while it heals. In most cases, fluid drains into a small hollow ball that you’ll learn how to empty before you leave the hospital. The doctor will decide when the drains can be safely removed depending on how much fluid is collecting each day. Follow your doctor’s instructions on wound and drain care. Also be sure to ask what kind of support garments you should wear. If you have any concerns or questions, ask someone on your cancer care team.
Most women can start to get back to normal activities within about 6 to 8 weeks. If implants are used without flaps, your recovery time may be shorter. Some things to keep in mind: Reconstruction does not restore normal feeling to your breast, but some feeling may return over a period of years.
It may take up to about 8 weeks for bruising and swelling to go away. Try to be patient as you wait to see the final result.
It may take as long as 1 to 2 years for tissues to heal fully and scars to fade, but the scars never go away completely.
Call your doctor right away if you notice any new skin changes, swelling, lumps, pain, or fluid leaking from the breast, armpit, or flap donor site, or if you have other symptoms that concern you.
Any type of surgery has risks, and breast reconstruction may pose certain unique problems for some women. Even though many of these are not common, it’s important to have an idea of some of the possible risks and side effects: Problems with the anesthesia, Bleeding, Blood clots, Tissue death (necrosis) of all or part of a tissue flap, skin, or fat, Loss of or changes in nipple and breast sensation, Problems with a breast implant, such as movement, leakage, rupture, or scar tissue formation (capsular contracture), Uneven breasts.
Infection can happen with any surgery, most often in the first couple of weeks after surgery. If an implant has been placed, it might have to be removed until the infection clears. A new implant can be put in later. If you have a tissue flap, surgery may be needed to clean the wound.
Additional factors to consider:
1. Success rates are extremely high with the modern advances in technology and the techniques used by surgeons.
2. Patient reviews often refer to be being pleased with the level of professionalism and emotional support throughout the entire process leading up to and following the surgery. Often the increase in self-confidence is considered the biggest positive from the procedure. Before and after photos are available online with patient comments.
3. For an in-depth analysis of the Tissue Expander process, watch this short video.
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Find top clinics for Breast Reconstruction in Bangkok at the lowest price. Compare costs & reviews of 34 clinics, specialized in Breast Reconstruction procedures in Bangkok.
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