A breast cancer diagnosis can be frightening enough. Discovering that you have to undergo mastectomy – a surgical procedure that will remove one or both of your breasts – as part of your cancer treatment can add to the devastation. Many women are overwhelmed not only because of the cancer diagnosis, but because of the emotions associated with the prospect of losing one or both breasts.
While it’s true that there is no surgical procedure that can completely restore the feeling in the breasts after a mastectomy, technological advances have made it possible to have a range of breast reconstruction options. Patients can get cosmetic results from a variety of options, whether they choose implants or a procedure that uses their own tissue, normally known as flap surgery.
At Breast Reconstruction Associates, your breast reconstruction specialists in Dallas, our team is working tirelessly to continually refine your choices for breast reconstruction. To help you better understand your options, we have some of the most frequently asked questions that we get from our patients.
1. What factors do doctors normally take into consideration when making a recommendation to their patients?
The type of breast cancer, which includes the stage, and the cancer’s location in the breast are largely considered. The patient’s general health, her body type, her own wishes, and what additional therapy she may need before and after surgery are all factors that we seriously consider before we make recommendations.
2. What about implants? Who are the ideal candidates?
The implant involves the use of a saline or silicone implant to rebuild the breast. The best candidates for this type of option tend to be smaller women with a cup B breast. For women with A cup breast size, we recommend that they undergo breast augmentation to achieve symmetry. Those with fuller breasts may also go for implant reconstruction, however, it is normally advised that they undergo a reduction on the natural breast.
3. How about flap reconstruction? What does it entail?
DIEP flap breast reconstruction uses the patient’s own tissue, which includes fat, skin, and muscle, to recreate a natural-looking breast. Where the doctors obtain the skin and tissue depends on several factors, like the patient’s preference and the quality and amount of tissue available in a specific area.
The DIEP flap involves the relocation of the tissue. Aside from the abdominal area, the buttocks and thighs also have a lot of tissue. This makes for the most natural-feeling breast. Patients who want a softer, larger breast find this procedure to be the best choice.
If you have questions about DIEP flap breast reconstruction, get in touch with your breast reconstruction experts in Dallas at Breast Reconstruction Associates. We are happy to answer any questions you might have.