If you have had a mastectomy, you will probably wish to have breast reconstruction to restore your breasts. This is a very specialized procedure that is technical and highly customized for the patient. Dr. Ledding has performed hundreds of successful breast reconstructions.
He will spend time with you during your initial consultation and examination to discuss your options and his recommended surgical plan for you.
Sometimes, the procedure can be done immediately after the tumor has been removed. For some patients, however, this is not possible, as preparations or other treatments must be performed before the reconstruction can take place.
Who is a Good Candidate for Breast Reconstruction?
Most women who have had a mastectomy are good candidates for breast reconstruction. The best method of reconstruction will vary based on your own personal characteristics and preferences.
Is Breast Reconstruction an Outpatient Procedure?
Breast reconstruction sometimes requires a stay in the hospital. It is performed using general anesthesia and sometimes involves more than one procedure over a period of months.
What Incisions Are Used For Breast Reconstruction?
Incisions for breast reconstruction vary greatly depending on the patient. Dr. Ledding will discuss this with you during your examination and consultation.
What Happens During Breast Reconstruction?
There are a number of different techniques that Dr. Ledding might use for your breast reconstruction. If breast implants are to be inserted, a tissue expander must usually be placed first for a few months. This expander is placed under the chest muscle to stretch the tissue so that there is enough to cover an implant. The expander is gradually filled with more and more fluid in order to gradually increase the tissue. If radiation is part of your cancer treatment, we often need to transfer tissue from your back to cover your implant. Radiated tissue has trouble expanding.
Another technique involves harvesting tissue from the abdomen or another part of the body to be transferred to the breast. An example of this is TRAM flap breast reconstruction.
Reconstruction may require more than one surgery to give you the best possible results.
What Happens Immediately After Breast Reconstruction?
Most patients who have implant-based reconstructions can go home the same day. TRAM flap reconstruction usually requires three to four nights in the hospital.
When Can I Return to Work After Breast Reconstruction?
Most women take a few weeks off from work and resume exercise or sports activities in a few months. This is highly dependent upon your individual case, so Dr. Ledding will provide his recommendations after your surgery.
What Post-Operative Symptoms Can I Expect After Breast Reconstruction?
Your recovery will include some bruising, a feeling of tightness, and pain for a period of weeks. You can take prescription or non-prescription medications to ease you through this period. You must also avoid lifting anything heavy for six to eight weeks.
Drains may be placed within the incisions to capture excess fluids. These will be removed within a few days of your surgery.
Swelling takes the longest to resolve, gradually improving over a period of months. After you leave the hospital, you will see Dr. Ledding for follow-up examinations, and we will give you aftercare instructions. These will include cleaning the incisions.
Are There Scars After Breast Reconstruction?
There are scars after breast reconstruction, but Dr. Ledding will do everything he can to keep them to a minimum. The scars will fade and become smoother during the months following your surgery. We can also provide products that will aid in their healing.