Posts tagged ‘breast reconstruction’

Breast Reconstruction

Under certain circumstances, the treatment of breast cancer may require complete removal of the affected breast (a mastectomy), or rarely, both breasts (bilateral mastectomy). If a patient agrees to a mastectomy, she may choose to have breast reconstruction afterwards. This usually is performed by a specialist, a certified plastic surgeon, and sometimes involves more than one operation.

There are various options for breast reconstruction. One option is the placement of an implant. Implants are not permanent and sometimes only last about 10 years and then need to be replaced. If the decision is to have an implant, it is important to discuss with the plastic surgeon the type of implant most suitable for a patient’s particular anatomy, as well as the potential complications and duration of placement. Besides an implant, other options are available involving more complex types of breast reconstruction designed to produce a more “natural” look for certain patients. Abdominal flaps and similar techniques are usually offered to younger individuals who can handle the much more extensive surgery, and for the most part results in more natural-looking breasts. However, not all types of reconstruction are appropriate for everyone, and certain medical factors need to be taken into consideration with regard to recommending the specific type of procedure. Also, it may be advisable to obtain consultations with more than one plastic surgeon.

One of the most complete photo books showing reconstruction is “Reconstructing Aphrodite”.

Another great resource for helping cancer patients learn about their choices for breast reconstructive surgery is Living Beyond Breast Cancer http://www.lbbc.org, which has offered free scheduled educational teleconferences on the topic Breast Reconstruction: Understanding Your Options.

Additional websites for information on reconstruction are:

http://www.breastreconstruction.org

http://www.youngsurvival.org , for young breast cancer patients wanting reconstruction.

http://bidmc.org/YourHealth/BIDMCInteractive/Blogs/LivingwithBreastCancer.aspx? A daily blog about breast cancer research, resources, psychosocial issues, etc.

http://www.breastcancer.org/pictures/reconstruction/

http://www.stopbreastcancer.org , the National Breast Cancer Coalition website. Look at Position Papers to find information about reconstruction.

http://www.dslrf.org/searchresults.asp ,Dr. Susan Love’s website showing some of the photos and stories from the book “Show Me”. Some of the techniques in that book are outdated but considered to be quite informative.

http://www.networkofstrength.org/information/treatment/reconstruction.php

http://www.diepflap.com/?gclid=CPa53NS5-KICFRAN2godBWK5hg ,a link with newer reconstruction techniques although not available everywhere and not everyone is a candidate.

And http://www.breastfree.org offering the “no reconstruction option”; checking out other options is always a good idea.

For additional referrals to information and resources regarding breast reconstruction please contact the social worker, at 877-RLC-2120, http://www.lacancerinfo.org to get the help you need.

February 4, 2011 at 12:16 am 1 comment


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