Partially or completely removing one or both breasts is a common part of breast cancer care. A mastectomy is the medical term for this operation. Breast reconstruction may be done following a mastectomy to help with the psychological effects. During cancer treatment, this reconstruction process will help a person regain their self-confidence and feel better.
In this article, Dr. Leena Jain who is one of the best plastic surgeon in Mumbai will discuss the different forms of breast reconstruction surgery, how to choose the right one and risks after the surgery.
After a mastectomy or lumpectomy, the purpose of breast reconstruction is to reform or reshape one or both breasts. A mastectomy is a surgical procedure in which the whole breast, including the nipple and areola, is removed in order to cure or prevent breast cancer. A lumpectomy is the surgical removal of a portion of the breast containing a smaller tumor. While several factors can influence which form of breast reconstruction is best for you, there are two key options used by Dr. Leena Jain in Mumbai: Implants or prosthetics: Silicone or saline implants are used in this procedure.
Skin flap surgery: Also known as autologous surgery, uses tissue from another part of the body.
In certain cases, a surgeon will combine both procedures to produce a more natural-looking breast or breasts reconstruction. If the nipple and surrounding area have been compromised by cancer treatment, additional procedures may used in reconstructing them. Breast reconstruction can be performed as part of a mastectomy or lumpectomy procedure. This is what is referred to as “immediate reconstruction.” However, there is also the possibility of deferring reconstruction. After the mastectomy has healed and all cancer treatments have ended, an individual can chose to have reconstruction.
Types Of Breast Reconstruction Surgery
A surgeon will put silicone or saline implants under the skin or muscle in the place of the previous breast tissue when reconstructing a breast with implants. This is a two-stage process for the majority of patients. A tissue expander is placed underneath the remaining breast skin, or pectoralis muscles, in the first step. The expander acts as a temporary saline implant, stretching the remaining tissue over time.
Once the patient has completely recovered from surgery, a surgeon will administer sterile saline or salt water into the tissue expander on a weekly basis through the skin. This balloon expands over time, expanding the surrounding skin and muscle until the breast reaches a size that is comfortable for the female.
The second operation to insert the implants will be performed after the chest tissues have healed and the surgeon has applied sufficiently saline to the tissue expander in preparation for the implants.
The tissue expanders are removed and replaced with a silicone or saline implant by the surgeon. Usually, they will reopen the original scar. This usually means that no fresh scars on the chest will result from the operation.
Without the use of a tissue expander, a surgeon can position a permanent saline or silicone implant at the time of the mastectomy.
According to a mass study conducted in Mumbai, India in 2012, the awareness regarding breat implant treatments for cancer is around 63%.
Skin Flap Surgery
The surgeon takes tissue from another section of the body and transfers it to the chest to reconstruct the breast with skin flap surgery. This tissue is normally removed from the abdomen by the surgeon. It may, however, originate in other parts of the body, such as the buttock, back, or leg.
Since it involves moving tissue from one part of the body to another, skin flap surgery is extremely difficult. This surgery can be performed in one of two ways:
Free flap surgery
In free flap surgery, the tissue and the blood vessels that supply it with circulation are fully removed before being implanted in the breast. The blood vessels are stitched into other blood vessels in the chest at the planned placement location. Since these blood vessels are so tiny, the surgeon can stitch them together using a microscope in a technique known as microsurgery.
Pedicle flap surgery
A surgeon would not fully separate the transplanted tissue from its blood vessels during pedicle flap surgery. Instead, the tissue remains attached to the body and is rotated into the chest to form the breast by the surgeon. Pedicle flap surgery normally involves using tissue from the abdomen or back.
Risks & Complications
The chances of risks after the surgery can be reduced by choosing best plastic surgeon in Mumbai, India. However, the following are some of the risks and complications that can occur during breast reconstruction surgery:
- Infection caused by bleeding or blood clots
- Anesthesia fluid accumulation in the breast or at the donor site may cause complications (for skin flap surgery)
- Extreme exhaustion
- Wound healing that is sluggish or interrupted
Other complications that can occur:
- Necrosis, or tissue death, may occur in the skin, fat, or tissue flap.
- Reduction of muscle power at the donor site (for skin flap surgery).
- Breast or nipple sensation issues.
- More surgical procedures are needed. The breasts may be uneven.
- Movement, rupture, leakage, or scar tissue issues with the implant