Breast reconstruction surgery continues to help many women rebuild the shape and size of their breasts, while also boosting their confidence after they have undergone a mastectomy to treat and/or prevent breast cancer. Our board-certified plastic surgeon, Mark Pinsky, MD, understands that some women may be hesitant to go forward with breast reconstruction surgery due to some misinformation circulating about the procedure. For this reason, Dr. Pinsky is taking the opportunity to debunk five common misconceptions about breast reconstruction:
Myth #1: Patients need to undergo breast reconstruction immediately after having a mastectomy. Breast reconstruction can be performed at the same time as your mastectomy, which is often referred to as an “immediate reconstruction”—but patients also have the option of delaying breast reconstruction for weeks, months, or years if desired.
Myth #2: Patients need breast implants for breast reconstruction surgery. Placement of breast implants is one option for rebuilding the breasts. For women who do not want breast implants, Dr. Pinsky can incorporate many different breast reconstruction techniques—including flap reconstruction, tissue expansion, and fat grafting methods—which utilize the patient’s healthy body tissue. He may even recommend a combination of these procedures to produce optimal results.
Myth #3: Women who have undergone radiation therapy cannot undergo breast reconstruction surgery. Patients who have had or are undergoing radiation as part of their breast cancer treatment can still have their breasts reconstructed. There may be limitations on certain techniques, but other methods can be used to effectively rebuild the breasts. In some cases, your plastic surgeon may recommend delayed breast reconstruction so that the radiated tissue can be replaced after radiation treatment.
Myth #4: It will be hard to detect breast cancer in breasts that have been reconstructed. There is currently no evidence suggesting that breast cancer will be difficult to identify in reconstructed breasts; although, breast screening methods may need to be modified for patients who did receive breast implants. A 3D mammogram or MRI may be recommended as more suitable alternatives. It is important for women to tell the radiology technician if they have breast implants so that the proper imaging techniques are utilized.
Myth #5: The breasts will look unnatural after breast reconstruction surgery. The breast reconstruction procedure is designed to deliver results that look and feel natural. Breast reconstruction surgery is typically a complex process, which makes it very important to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon who is extensively trained in all the different breast reconstructive methods and has a good reputation for achieving natural-appearing outcomes.
Breast reconstruction can provide many physical and psychological benefits to women who have undergone breast removal surgery. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about breast reconstruction, please contact Pinsky Plastic Surgery today.