While preparing for a mastectomy, your breast surgeon in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas will most likely talk to you about your options for breast reconstruction. Breast reconstruction surgery has two types. First is implant reconstruction, where the surgeon uses an artificial breast implant. The second option is autologous breast reconstruction, which involves using the body’s own fat and tissue to reconstruct the breasts.
The surgeon may use both or either one of these methods, depending on your circumstances. There are several questions that you should ask your surgeon to help guide your decision.
1. What are the risks?
Before undergoing surgery, it’s best to understand all the risks involved, which includes:
- Will the procedure affect or interfere with chemotherapy?
- What should I expect?
- How long will the recovery be?
- Will it affect radiation therapy?
- What are the other risks involved?
2. Should I undergo immediate breast reconstruction, or is it best to wait until after mastectomy?
The breast reconstruction procedure is typically done during mastectomy. In some cases, it is done soon afterward. Some choose to have it done months, or even years after lumpectomy or mastectomy. Here are some questions you can raise with your surgeon:
- How will my chest area appear after mastectomy, should I decide not to undergo immediate reconstruction?
- Based on my current condition, when is the best time for me to undergo breast reconstruction surgery?
- What is the difference in terms of recovery time between immediate reconstruction vs. reconstruction at a later date?
3. Do I have any other options?
Yes, your surgeon should be able to educate you about the mastectomy and breast reconstruction process, and should provide you with other options. For example, there’s custom breast prostheses, which come in different styles and forms, weights, shapes, and textures.
Other questions that you might consider asking:
- Which type of reconstruction are you most experienced in?
- How should I prepare for surgery?
- Can you furnish me with photos of similar reconstructions that you have performed?
- How long will the surgery take?
- What results are realistic for me?
- Will I feel any sensation in my reconstructed breast?
- In terms of size, will my reconstructed breast match my remaining breast?
- How much pain or discomfort will I feel?
- What type of care will I need to do at home?
- Do I need to perform exercises after the surgery?
- Will I be able to return to normal daily activities like driving?
Whatever your decision may be, we understand that this is normally an emotional and sensitive journey. The experienced and compassionate team at Breast Reconstruction Associates, your breast surgeons in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, can guide you through the process to help you decide on an option that is comfortable for you.