Breast reconstruction

When a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, the emotional impact for her and those around her can be devastating.

Every woman has her own physical and emotional traits and her own family and social situation which necessitate each case to be treated individually.

Women who face breast cancer want to get their health and their body image back, reinforcing the femininity that was lost in initial treatment.

The plastic surgeon, along with the cancer specialist and the patient, should decide the best time and technique for breast reconstruction.

It is a three-way decision that should be agreed upon to obtain the best possible functional and aesthetic results since not all patients are suitable for immediate reconstruction or for all techniques.

BREAST RECONSTRUCTION, SPEAKING IN TERMS OF TIME, CAN BE:

Immediate when the breast is reconstructed at the same time that the tumour is surgically removed. Here, communication between the patient, the cancer specialist and the plastic surgeon is fundamental.

Delayed when, after initial oncological treatment and after curing the cancer, the reconstruction of the affected breast or breasts is undergone. The patient and the plastic surgeon will study the best surgical technique for each case.

REGARDING SURGICAL TECHNIQUES, THE MOST SUITABLE FOR BREAST RECONSTRUCTION ARE:

Reconstruction with the patient’s own tissue: microsurgery is used to transplant tissue from the patient’s abdomen (DIEP, SIEA) or her buttocks (sGAP, iGAP) to create a breast with a natural shape and texture. This is the most reliable technique and gives the best results. It requires a plastic surgeon who is an expert in microsurgery.

Reconstruction with breast implants: except in cases of very small breasts, the placement of an expander is necessary where, afterwards, in a later procedure, the implant will be placed.

Mixed reconstruction: with the patient’s own tissue and increasing, if necessary, the volume of the breast with a breast implant.

Take into account

Operating room Clinic stay Anesthesia Back to work
Breast reconstruction with own tissues, unilateral (1 breast) 8,5h 4 nights General 3-4 weeks
Breast reconstruction with own tissues, bilateral (2 breast) 10,5h 4 nights General 3-4 weeks
Breast reconstruction with implants 1st surgery (expander placement) 2h 2 nights Deep sedation/general 2-3 weeks
Breast reconstruction with implants 2nd surgery (expander replacement by implant) 2d 2 nights Deep sedation/general 2-3 weeks
Mixed breast reconstruction 5h 3 nights General 3-4 weeks

Recommended for…

  • Females that have been subjected to a mastectomy
  • Females that have had a breast removed and wish to have an immediate reconstruction

Benefits

  • Improved health
  • Recovered body image
  • Emotional recovery
  • Improved self-esteem and femininity

Request a first assessment from Dr Joan Pere Barret


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