Immediate VS Delayed Breast Reconstruction
When getting a mastectomy, you have two options in terms of reconstructive surgery, immediate or delayed. Both immediate and delayed have good and bad components and the risks of either should always be taken into consideration when making the decision for reconstructive surgery. Reconstructive options consist of prosthetic implants or using autologous soft tissues from different regions on the patient such as the abdomen or the buttock. Getting the news that you have to receive a mastectomy is never easy, but with breast reconstruction options, the news doesn’t have to be as devastating. If you are considering immediate reconstruction, talk to your doctor and see if you are a good candidate for the procedure. Take a look at the information below on immediate vs delayed breast reconstruction to know exactly what each procedure consists of.
Immediate Breast Reconstruction
Some women may not know this but immediate breast reconstruction is an option after a mastectomy. Choosing to get immediate reconstructive surgery means that your mastectomy will be performed with the reconstruction in one surgery. The procedure begins with your surgeon removing the cancerous breast tissue and a plastic surgeon will then reconstruct a new breast mound using an implant or tissue from another part of the body, depending on the request of the patient. Some surgeons may decide to insert a tissue expander instead of an implant, which would result in a 2 part surgery, eventually taking the expander out and replacing it with an implant.
Advantages of the Immediate Reconstruction:
- Studies have shown that choosing to get breast reconstruction immediately helps patients psychologically more so than those who wait. Getting a mastectomy is emotional, you are faced with cancer, your body changing permanently, undergoing surgery, and the emotional turmoil of it all can be overwhelming. Getting the reconstructive surgery immediately can help eliminate some of the fears and insecurities a woman may have after her mastectomy.
- You are able to get 2 surgeries in 1, which makes the whole process easier. You may have to stay in the hospital slightly longer, but with the immediate surgery you forgo having to heal from the first one before undergoing a separate second surgery and healing from that one as well.
- Immediate reconstructive surgery is said to often look better as well. Now, this all depends on the surgeon you go to, because a highly trained and recommended surgeon will go above and beyond to make your breasts look as natural as possible. However, every body is different, heals and reacts differently, but immediate surgery has proven to look better because it is easier to preserve more skin around the breast while also preventing scarring.
If you choose to get immediate breast reconstruction while still undergoing cancer treatments, be aware that some treatments require your body to be completely healed before you continue treatment. Not all treatments require this, so make sure to ask your doctor before hand. Immediate breast reconstructive surgery will not disrupt the detection of cancerous cells in the body, nor will it increase cancer recurrence.
Delayed Reconstruction Surgery
Some women may choose to take the delayed route and that is completely normal. If you are still undergoing treatment and choose to wait months, even years, there is nothing wrong with that. Those who are receiving chemotherapy should wait until they have completed all necessary chemo treatments. These treatments prevent the body from properly healing itself, which means the breasts must need to fully heal before chemo can start again. These are some of the reasons women decide to wait to have their reconstructive surgery done.
Advantages of Delayed Reconstruction
- With everything else going on, you may not want to make the decision for reconstruction right away. The delayed surgery allows you to recover from treatment, the mastectomy, and the emotional roller coaster of it all. This will allow you the opportunity to be comfortable and confident in your decision to get the procedure.
- You can be treatment free and cancer free before undergoing the reconstructive surgery
- It will not interfere with your personal treatment plan
Immediate VS Delayed Breast Reconstruction
Whether you choose for the immediate surgery or the delayed, the decision has to be best for your personally. Take some time to consider the differences between immediate vs delayed breast reconstruction and talk to your doctor about both options. Together you can decide a best fit for you, your body, and your treatment plan. Either way, the most important thing is that you are healthy, happy, and confident in your skin.
If you are looking for a great breast reconstructive surgeon in Phoenix or surrounding cities, call Dr. Finkel today!