How Long After a Mastectomy Can I Get a Breast Reconstruction?
The question surrounding mastectomy has been around for a long time. More so, many women wonder about the appropriate time to get breast reconstruction surgery after a previous operation. The answer to this question is relative. It all depends on various factors. Different cases require different timelines. Here are a few things to consider before getting a breast reconstruction procedure after a mastectomy.
Breast reconstruction and the time you should get it if necessary is a hot topic. After battling cancer and having a mastectomy, a breast reconstruction procedure might be a perfect solution if you want to restore the balance between your two breasts. Specialists achieve this by replacing your breast tissue, skin, or a removed nipple.
To achieve this goal, your surgeon has to consider several factors. They include your size, width, the location of the removed tumor, and the mastectomy. There are different recommendations by surgeons regarding the matter. After doing some research, here are a few things you should keep in mind:
Immediate reconstruction occurs when you get a breast reconstruction and a mastectomy concurrently. Your surgeon removes the infected breast, a plastic surgeon starts reconstructing your breast. This could be through harvesting tissue from another part of your body or with an implant.
This is all done during the same operation. However, if you need additional radiology or chemotherapy treatment, your doctor might recommend waiting till after the treatment is effectively finished. This is to give way for further testing and to ensure that the cancerous tissue is all out.
After Mastectomy and Other Procedures
Depending on the extent of your cancer, your doctor will give you recommendations. This involves the period you have to wait till you are fit for breast reconstruction. Some of the procedures you may have to undergo include:
- Radiation therapy.
- Lumpectomy surgery.
- Targeted therapy.
These are just a few of them. According to experts, getting a breast reconstruction might interfere with radiation therapy, affecting the previously cancerous areas.
Treatment Time Varies
However, this varies from person to person. It is advisable to wait until the chemo and radiation therapy show success. This takes a period of about 6 to 12 months after you had your lumpectomy or mastectomy. You should consult your specialist for a personalized diagnosis. However, you can get breast reconstruction many years after a mastectomy. It is entirely your choice then. The most important thing is to get a treatment that addresses your individual needs.
Delayed-Immediate Breast Reconstruction
Pioneered by experts at the University of Texas, this new approach is innovative. It involves placing a conventional breast implant or tissue expander under your chest muscle to preserve your breast skin after a mastectomy. Once you complete your radiation therapy about four to six months after the mastectomy and the tissues have recovered, the implant or expander will be expertly removed to pave the way for breast reconstruction.
To know more about post-mastectomy procedures, visit us at Jason K. Potter, MD, DDS, in Dallas, Texas. You can also call on 214-892-2474 to book an appointment.