For some women, the choice of having post-mastectomy breast reconstruction is no choice at all. It is no secret to women who have suffered such an ordeal that the effects of breast cancer extend to even after it has been successfully treated. Women are affected both physically and psychologically by mastectomies. Aspects of their social life, self-worth, and overall lifestyles are also invariably changed, and some women even go through stages of chronic depression as a result of these changes. These are the ones that feel like they have no choice but to undergo breast reconstruction to improve the condition of their daily lives.
Although there are a multitude of non-invasive ways to deal with post-mastectomy scars and uneven breasts—like creative dressing and faux breasts, these only offer a limited and often inadequate solution for most women. Breast reconstruction seeks to restore the normalcy of these people’s lives by providing a permanent solution to the problem of uneven breasts.
By opting for DIEP flap surgery, patients stand a good chance of restoring the look and feel of their missing breast. Most of these surgeries also include nipple and areola reconstruction to complete the overall effect. DIEP flap surgery involves taking skin and fat from the lower abdomen, as well as their connecting blood vessels, and using those to reconstruct the missing breast. Patients typically stay for 4 days in the hospital and spend 4 to 6 weeks of recovery at home. Although there are some precautions regarding doing strenuous activities during this period, most people who undergo this surgery find that they are able to do their daily tasks with little discomfort.
According to statistics put forth by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), breast reconstruction surgery, specifically DIEP flap surgery, does indeed provide a significant improvement to the quality of life of these women. Those who have undergone the surgery reported a comparable return to their previous normal lifestyle brought about by increased self-esteem and overall self-worth.