Basics Of Breast Reconstruction, And Why Post-Mastectomy Patients Should Consider Implants

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If you have undergone a mastectomy or are planning on it, you should strongly consider getting breast implants. There are several breast reconstruction options available for post-mastectomy patients, but implants just might be the best choice for you. Here is a look at breast reconstruction and reasons why you should opt for implants.

What is Breast Reconstruction Surgery?

If your doctor diagnosed you with breast cancer, or if your genetics increase your risk of developing breast cancer, your doctor may recommend a mastectomy. A "mastectomy" is the removal of one or both of your breasts. Many patients undergoing a mastectomy opt for breast reconstruction surgery as well.

Breast reconstruction surgery is a cosmetic procedure used to reconstruct one or both breasts after a mastectomy. There are three predominate breast reconstruction options: flaps, breast regeneration, and implants. Breast regeneration and flaps involve removing tissue, muscle, fat, or skin from one part of your body and relocating it to your breast area. Implants, made of silicone or saline, expand the area between the muscle and skin and give the appearance of a full breast.

Breast Implants: The Most Popular Choice

Breast augmentation is the second most common cosmetic surgery procedure in the world. In the United States, particularly, breast implants are extremely popular. Even though the majority of breast implant patients choose this procedure for purely cosmetic reasons, it is also the most popular option for post-mastectomy breast reconstruction.

Implants are so popular with mastectomy patients for a number of reasons. Implants leave fewer scars than regeneration and flap procedures, and both hospital and recovery times can be much shorter.

Implants Have Come a Long Way

If you are struggling with the decision of whether or not to choose implants for breast reconstruction because of health concerns, think again. Breast implants have gotten a bad rap in the past, but implant innovation has dispelled many of these concerns.

Myth: The FDA banned implants in the 1990s.

Fact: The FDA banned silicone-based implants because early research linked leaking implants to severe medical problems. Later studies revealed that this link was unfounded, and in 2003, the FDA lifted the ban on silicone-based implants. If, despite these studies, you are still concerned about the risks of silicone, you can opt for saline-based implants instead.

Myth: Implants mask growing cancers, so your cancer is more likely to return if you chose implant breast reconstruction.

Fact: Regardless of whether or not you have had breast reconstruction surgery, you should still diligently schedule mammograms and monthly breast exams. This is especially true if you have already had breast cancer.

Myth: Breast implants look unnatural.

Fact: The first implants emerged in the mid-1900s. Since then, technology has significantly improved the look and feel of breast implants. There are a variety of breast implant types, so you have more options available to you today. Each type has its own set of benefits; your doctor can help you choose the type and size of implant that will best compliment you.

Because breast implants are such a common procedure, you should strongly consider this route for post-mastectomy reconstruction surgery. The procedure is not as complicated as other reconstruction options, and most of the risks associated with early surgeries have dissipated.

For more information, contact Sam W Huddleston IV, MD or a similar medical professional.