Expanding Tissue to Prep for Post-Mastectomy Implants

Sunday, June 10, 2018



health, surgery, implants, mastectomy, post-mastectomy, breast reconstruction

You have discovered the distressing news that you have breast cancer. It's an overwhelming and frightening diagnosis. Not only have you learned that there is a deadly disease inside your body, but there your doctors have come to an agreement about your breasts. In addition to treatment, you are going to need to have your breasts removed. A mastectomy is going to change your body, the way you look, and the way you feel about yourself. Many women feel like they have been robbed of their femininity after their breasts have been removed. They become self-conscious and have issues with body image. It can also place a strain on their relationships with their partners. As challenging as this phase in your life is, you need to focus on the positive. Remember that you are taking charge of this illness in order to save your life. While it is true that a mastectomy is going to take a part of your body away, your plastic surgeon can create a new bust for you that will look natural and make you feel whole. The process is a journey. It will begin with expanding the tissue where your breasts were to prepare your body for implants.

How is the Tissue Expanded Prior to Implant Surgery After a Mastectomy?

You may not realize that breast implant surgery after a mastectomy is going to take place in stages. The first stage is the tissue expansion stage. This is necessary to make sure there is adequate room to position your implants. Your plastic surgeon will need to create a pocket in your pectoral muscle in order to insert a tissue expander. The expander will have a port that allows your plastic surgeon to gradually add saline to the expander. For several weeks after your tissue expander has been put in place, saline will be added to it in a process that slowly expands your breast contours in a subtle way. When your plastic surgeon determines that you are ready, you will be set for stage two of your breast implant procedure.

Your Breast Implants Will be Inserted in Stage Two

Once your tissues have been adequately expanded, your plastic surgeon will be ready to take out your expander to make room for your breast implants. You will be able to discuss the type of implant that you want. Your options include silicone and saline. The size of your implants will also be an important decision. How well your tissue has healed after your surgery and the size of your chest wall will play a role in what size implant is best for you. You may choose to remain the size you were before your mastectomy or may prefer a modest increase in size. In some cases, you may actually have to reduce your size because of the condition of your breast tissue and the effects of your tissue expansion. Your plastic surgeon will be your guide as you consider your options. Your implants will be inserted, your incisions closed. If your nipples and areolas could not be saved during your mastectomy, your surgeon can construct new nipples by using tissue from your body. Once your breasts have healed, tattoo ink can create the appearance of areolas, as well as the proper skin tone for your nipples. When all is said and done, you can have breasts that look authentic. Most importantly, they will feel like the real thing as well.

What Can You Expect for the Recovery Process?

You may have drains inserted into your breasts immediately following surgery in order to eliminate any fluid that accumulates. You will be monitored in the recovery room and should be able to go home on the same day of your procedure. You will be provided with a surgical bra. This is going to help you to avoid too much movement of your breasts. It will also reduce swelling and help to minimize your pain. You can expect to take at least a week off from work after your breast reconstruction surgery. You may need more time than that depending on if your job is strenuous. If you are undergoing chemotherapy and radiation, you may be taking a lengthy amount of time while you get your body on track. You will need to pay close attention to your incisions and cleanse them properly in order to reduce your risk of developing an infection. Be sure to follow your surgeon's advice when it comes to any limits that have placed on you concerning physical activity. You don't want to damage your incisions or cause any type of injury. Once your body has adequately healed, you will be able to fully appreciate your results. Your breast reconstruction can help you to feel like yourself again.

Should You Have Your Breast Reconstruction Surgery Immediately or Wait?

It is a personal decision when it comes to timing for breast reconstruction surgery. Some women want to begin the process immediately in order to restore their breasts. Others feel it is best to wait. If you are going through radiation and chemotherapy treatments, you may want to give your body time to deal with the negative effects of cancer therapy. Whether you wait a year or ask for reconstructive surgery right away, you can look forward to the time when you feel like your body is complete again.

Turn to Doctors Plastic Surgery to Learn More About Breast Reconstruction

The surgeons at Doctors Plastic Surgery can help you make important decisions about breast reconstruction. Feel complete and comfortable about your body once again. The compassionate staff will guide you through the process to help you reclaim your figure after cancer has had such a major impact on your life. The skilled surgeons will give you peace of mind as you move forward on this journey. Visit www.doctorsplasticsurgery.com to book a consultation appointment.