One in 8 American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Yet less than 25% of women know what types of reconstructions may be available to them! Many studies have shown that reconstruction after mastectomy (removal of the breast) can greatly improve one’s self esteem and quality of life. While it isn’t for everyone, it is so very important to know what all the options are to make the most informed decision that is right for you. Here are some general terms to familiarize you with. But remember, more in-depth conversations about these options are best had with a breast surgeon and a board eligible/certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon.
Yes, the same type of implants can be used as when women undergo augmentation for cosmetic purposes (saline vs. silicone)
Using your own tissue to recreate a breast mound. Most common place to “borrow” is from the lower abdomen, but there are several other options
Autologous with Implant
Most commonly taking the muscle from your back, to help provide more coverage over an implant
What about women who choose lumpectomy to treat their cancer?
If this is you, there are still options available to help maintain the most aesthetically pleasing silhouette to your breast without compromising your cancer treatment. This may include fat grafting to the defect at a later date, or performing an oncoplastic reduction at the same time as your lumpectomy.