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About Breast Reconstruction

Breast Reconstruction

Breast reconstruction is available to rebuild and reshape the removed breast as a result of a mastectomy. This can be accomplished through implants or by transferring tissue from elsewhere on the body to the breasts. This may include rebuilding one breast to match the other one, rebuilding both breasts (if they are both surgically removed), or conducting surgery on the other breast to ensure the shape and size of both breasts are the same. After the breast has been reconstructed to the desired shape and size, a nipple or areola may be created on the reconstructed breast(s) if this was not preserved during the mastectomy surgery.

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What is breast reconstruction?

Breast reconstruction is available to rebuild and reshape the removed breast as a result of a mastectomy. This can be accomplished through implants or by transferring tissue from elsewhere on the body to the breasts. This may include rebuilding one breast to match the other one, rebuilding both breasts (if they are both surgically removed), or conducting surgery on the other breast to ensure the shape and size of both breasts are the same. After the breast has been reconstructed to the desired shape and size, a nipple or areola may be created on the reconstructed breast(s) if this was not preserved during the mastectomy surgery. Implant-based reconstruction is the easiest method used to rebuild breasts. These can either be saline or silicone, however, your doctors will suggest which choice is better suited for you. This type of surgery is commonly used if both breasts are reconstructed, or if the patient does not have a sufficient amount of tissue to reconstruct the breast through flap reconstruction. If the patient is suitable for flap reconstruction then the tissue is taken from another area of the body and used to construct the replacement breast. There are several types of flap reconstruction that your doctor will discuss with you if you decide to go ahead with this surgery. The surgery will be done once the mastectomy incisions have completely healed and the patient has completed breast cancer therapy. The surgery takes approximately 2-3 hours to complete, however, this will depend on each individual and their desired outcome.

Aftercare

Immediately following your procedure, you will be taken to a recovery room within the hospital and be under close supervision by hospital staff to ensure you feel safe and supported when waking up from the anaesthesia. After this, you will be taken to your room where you can rest after the surgery. The chest area will feel tender after the operation and you will probably experience swelling and bruising around the breast area. To help with any pain or discomfort experienced, you will be prescribed pain relief medication that will be administered to you by the hospital staff throughout your stay with us. Within the following weeks the swelling, bruising, and pain will diminish, and the breast will settle into the skin more comfortably. It is probable that you will experience some scarring around the breast where it has been rebuilt, however, this will become less prominent as the months and years progress. Your doctor will give you a detailed aftercare plan, including what you should and should not do after your surgery.

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All Your Questions Answered
  • What is Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
    Gastric sleeve surgery is a surgical procedure that reduces your stomach size. By limiting the amount, a person could eat, it is perfect for people who are extremely overweight and neither diet or training is not effective. A person should be extremely careful when deciding to take this procedure as it is irreversible and will greatly affect their lifestyle.
  • How does it work?
    The surgery removes a part of the stomach, reducing its size by 75% thus leaving the left side in a long sleeve shape. While three-quarters of the stomach is removed it retains all its previous functions resulting in a smaller efficient stomach that limits your food intake because of its size. Furthermore, the stomach produces hormones such as gastrin and ghrelin which are associated with the feeling of hunger, so removing a part of the stomach would decrease the level of these hormones as well as your appetite. The rest of the pouch is closed using medical staples and manual stitching to prevent any legates from occurring (doctors could perform a fluid test while operating to validate). During this period of time the patient will be under the effect of general aesthetics and the operation could last between 1-2 hours.
  • What are the benefits?
    30-60 % loss of excessive weight Patients are more energetic allowing for more physical activities which leads to improved fitness, strength, mood and stamina. An improvement in any weight related problem such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, back pain, arterial hypertension etc. Increased self-confidence Healthier lifestyle Improved BMI Increased mobility
  • Risks and Complications
    Risks are lowered considerably if a patient doesn’t smoke and sticks to a healthy lifestyle. Possible risks are : Acid reflux – gastric juice leaks into oesophagus damaging the mucosal layer ( to deal with this antacid medication must be taken up until 3 months after the surgery Blood clots – form due to a lower blood flow in the veins ( to prevent this there should be exercise wherever it is possible, smoking is also damaging and it creates blood clots) Vomiting and nausea – they get better with time Dumping syndrome – occurs when food enters the small intestine too quickly, causing diarrhoea, sweating and bloating (refrain from eating and drinking at the same time or rushing when having a meal) Infections
  • Recovery
    After your stay at the hospital (normally 2 days) it is normal to feel tired the first few days. When a week has passed, you may return to work, though it is recommended to rest 2-3 weeks until your body stabilises. Everyday activities should be comfortable to perform within 4-6 weeks but from 3-6 months some symptoms might develop for this short period of time such as mood changes, tiredness, thinning hair or dry skin (due to the excessive weight loss). However, the ongoing treatment will include our doctors continuously consulting with you helping in creating an exercise plan and a controlled diet. Blood tests might be required to check the progress of the individual. A healthy lifestyle maximises results and reduces risks to a great extent so a patient should exercise, stay hydrated and change their diet and eating habits

Breast Reconstruction FAQ

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