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How Long After Mastectomy Can Breast Reconstruction Be Performed


How long after a mastectomy can breast reconstruction be performed

Getting a diagnosis of breast cancer is scary, but with the technology that is currently available, the prognosis is much different than it was in the past. Although you’re dealing with a lot and may not be ready to consider breast reconstruction after mastectomy in Chandler, at some point you will want information. Talk to your plastic surgeon to come up with the best course of action for your particular needs.

Understanding your options after a mastectomy is an important part of the healing process. Deciding when to pursue breast reconstruction can be tough, but it’s important to understand that you have time and should make sure you’re well-informed before making any decisions. Let’s take a look at how long after a mastectomy can breast reconstruction be performed. 

The Timing of Your Surgery 

In general, it’s recommended to wait at least 3-6 months after your mastectomy before undergoing breast reconstruction surgery. This is referred to as delayed reconstruction. This waiting period gives your body time to heal from the mastectomy and allows for any necessary treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy that may have been prescribed by your doctor. During this time, it’s also important to consult with your doctor about any medications or supplements you may be taking that could interfere with the healing process or increase bleeding during surgery. 

For some patients, however, breast reconstruction can take place immediately after a mastectomy. This is called immediate reconstruction. Being a good candidate for this procedure depends on a few important factors. Some surgeons only allow immediate reconstruction for patients who opt for a direct to implant procedure, wherein the implant is able to be placed without the use of tissue expander. Patients must also be in good health with no other health conditions that may impair the healing process. Finally, patients should have a positive outlook and maintain realistic expectations about this procedure. You should also be aware of any risks involved with doing immediate reconstruction. 

We discuss a few of these qualifications later in the article, so read on to learn more. Or, if you have additional questions, feel free to contact the office of Dr. Rimma Finkel at (480) 963-3034. You can also contact us online. We’re here to help you make an informed decision about your breast reconstruction after a mastectomy in Chandler. 

Types of Breast Reconstruction Surgery 

There are two main types of breast reconstruction surgery: implant-based and tissue flap-based reconstructive surgeries. Let’s go over the basics of each one below. 

  • Implant-based reconstruction uses silicone implants to create the shape and size desired for the reconstructed breast. Most people are familiar with implants for Chandler breast reconstruction, but there are considerations with implants. If you opt for this method, you should get an MRI every few years to make sure that the implant hasn’t broken. Keep in mind that it can be more difficult to detect breast cancer in the remaining tissue when you have implants. 
  • Tissue flap-based reconstruction relies on tissue from other parts of the body, such as the back, abdomen, or buttocks, which is surgically transferred and shaped into the desired shape. Although this surgery makes the breast look more natural, it does tend to leave more scars.

Both types of surgeries typically require multiple stages in order to achieve optimal results and can last anywhere from several hours up to 8 hours depending on the complexity of the case.   

Recovery Time 

Depending on which type of surgery you choose, recovery times vary between 4-8 weeks. During this time it is important to follow all postoperative instructions given by your surgeon in order to ensure proper healing and reduce potential complications that could arise during recovery. It is also important to keep in mind that although there are many benefits associated with reconstructive surgery, there can also be risks involved so speaking with your doctor about what kind of outcome you should expect is essential before going forward with any surgical procedure. 

Explore the surgery options, costs, and recovery times, along with common concerns.

Breast Reconstruction Infographic

When Are You Ready For Surgery?

Breast reconstruction after mastectomy in Chandler is handled at different times in the healing process. Some of the process can begin during the actual mastectomy if the surgeon is aware of your intentions. If you have not made a decision, the surgery can be done years after the procedure. Work with your Chandler plastic surgeon to determine which options work best within your treatment plan. It is recommended that you complete radiation before the actual reconstruction procedure.

Who Makes a Good Candidate for Reconstruction After a Mastectomy?

Dr. Finkel believes that everyone deserves to feel confident in their own skin, especially after undergoing breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. However, it’s important to know that no two recoveries are different, and some women may need more time to heal from a mastectomy before undergoing breast reconstruction in Chandler. Here are some characteristics that can help determine whether you are a good candidate for a breast reconstruction. 

  • You have been able to cope well with your cancer diagnosis and treatments
  • You have realistic expectations for results and have a positive outlook about the procedure
  • You do not have any additional health issues that may impair healing
  • You are active and live a healthy lifestyle
  • You do not drink, smoke, or take non-medical drugs

Choosing What’s Right For Your Health

Deciding when (or if) to undergo breast reconstruction following a mastectomy is an incredibly personal decision that requires careful consideration. For most patients, it is recommended to wait at least 3-6 months before considering reconstructive surgery in order for your body enough time heal properly from the initial mastectomy procedure—although some doctors may recommend waiting longer depending on treatment plan prescribed by their doctor. Ultimately, understanding all available options including both implant-based and tissue flap-based reconstructive surgeries will help you make informed decisions regarding what type of outcome you desire for your own unique situation and timeline. The best way to get started is by talking openly with both medical professionals as well as family members who have gone through similar experiences in order to gain insight into potential risks associated with each option available so that ultimately you can make an informed decision that best suits you and puts you on track towards achieving optimal results!

Regain Your Confidence with Dr. Finkel

Chandler Plastic Surgeon - Plastic Surgery in Chandler AZWith regards to breast reconstruction surgery, it is not one size fits all. Breast cancer is not just a physical health condition, but one that affects your psychological and emotional health. You need time to grieve and consider all the treatment options that are open to you. When possible, you may be encouraged to begin Chandler breast reconstruction surgery at the time of your mastectomy. This reduces the trauma and expense of additional surgeries.

The International Association of Healthcare Professionals recognized Dr. Rimma Finkel as a Leading Physician of the World and Top Plastic Surgeon in Chandler, Arizona. She is double board-certified in plastic surgery. Contact her office for more information about a breast reconstruction after mastectomy in Chandler to find out your best options for recovery. Get your life back and feel whole after your mastectomy.