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Breast Reconstruction

What is it?

When a woman has to undergo a mastectomy or a partial breast excision, in addition to the worry about the cancer and its treatment, it is a potentially devastating change to her body image that can have a huge psychological impact. Breast reconstruction can be offered at the same time as the cancer is removed or later once all the cancer treatment has been completed.

We are able to offer the full range of techniques available for cancer reconstruction. These include implant base reconstruction (implants only or implants combined with a pedicled latissimus muscle flap or dermal substitute) and autologous reconstruction, (where the patient's own tissue (fat) is used, usually from the tummy, buttock or thigh).

Breast reconstruction is a highly individual decision, and is based on the patient's circumstances, lifestyle, body habitus and medical history. We have comprehensive expertise, particularly in the field of microsurgery, allowing us to offer the most appropriate methods for a particular patient, allowing them to choose the one that best suits their individual needs.

Why have it?

To regain breast tissue lost when breast cancer is treated. It can be done at the same time as the mastectomy or afterwards. It can minimise the physical impact of breast cancer treatment and restore body image.

Reasons not to have it?

Being overweight and smoking can increase the incidence of complications from breast reconstruction surgery. It may be wise to delay surgery until smoking is stopped or reduced, and a proportion of excess weight lost if possible. Some pre-existing medical conditions, radiotherapy and your body proportions may limit which options are available to you.

Your breast surgeon may recommend finishing all breast cancer treatment before embarking on reconstructive surgery.

Scarring and asymmetry frequently occur and although good aesthetic results can be achieved it can often take at least 2 operations.

A frank and thorough discussion of all reconstruction options and outcomes is conducted prior to embarking on surgery with an opportunity to look at clinical photographs of results.

Aspirin increases the risk of bleeding by preventing blood from clotting. If you are taking aspirin you will be asked to stop this for at least ten days before the procedure.

The Short Version

Rebuilding breast skin and volume following mastectomy. Various techniques with various outcomes are available. Scarring and wound healing problems can occur as well as infection, bleeding and a degree of asymmetry. At least 2 operations are usually necessary to achieve optimal results. The stay in hospital can vary from 1 to 7 nights with recovery taking at least 8 weeks.

Procedure Stats

  • General Anaesthetic
  • In Patient
  • Recovery 8 Weeks

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