Facts on Breast Reconstruction and Recovery

Healthy breasts are considered to be the hallmark of beauty in women. Unfortunately, patients battling a life-threatening disease like breast cancer may need to remove cancerous breast for their survival. According to recent healthcare reports, around 67,700 new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed last year. Breast reconstruction is a surgical intervention which involves reshaping the appearance and size of breast following breast cancer surgeries like mastectomy or lumpectomy. However, it may not have the same sensation as of a natural breast. The following list of facts may help patients to thoroughly understand this procedure.

  • Significant Factors - Patients who are suffering from another chronic underlying health condition like obesity, bleeding disorders or diabetes are generally not considered to be good candidates for breast reconstruction. In addition to this, patients who smoke are mostly advised to quit this habits before the surgery. Smoking can adversely impact the recovery process. It may delay wound healing time and result in severe infections post-surgery.
  • Time Interval - Depending on patient’s medical status, surgeons may choose to perform breast reconstruction along with breast cancer surgery. This practice is known as ‘immediate breast reconstruction’. Whereas, the procedure performed after some time interval is called as ‘delayed breast reconstruction’.
  • Breast Reconstruction Methods - Surgeons may use patient’s own tissue for breast reconstruction surgery. These autologous tissues are called as ‘flaps’. Flaps are mostly taken from patient’s back, abdomen, hips, and thighs. If patients lack sufficient amount of tissues, then surgeons may use silicone or saline breast implants to perform surgery. In some instances, both implants and flaps are used together.
  • Risks - Flap reconstruction may result in complications like abdominal wall hernia, necrosis, fluid collection, clotting of blood, and extreme weakness. Whereas, major complications of an implant reconstruction procedure includes deflation or implant rupture, capsular contracture, and poor healing of incisions. Patients should discuss regarding the potential risks associated with respective surgeons prior to surgery. It will help patients to completely understand the breast reconstruction procedure and take further decision.
  • Recovery and Follow-up Care - Patients may experience discomfort and pain following their breast reconstruction. Surgeons will prescribe painkillers and other essential drugs to help control pain and other symptoms. Healing phase may take up to one or two years. Patients will need to attend several follow-up sessions during this period. It will keep a check on patient’s overall health. Also, it will help surgeons to handle any post-surgery complications. All these factors will contribute to a smooth and speedy recovery after breast reconstruction.

It is important for patients to choose qualified and well-experienced surgeons for breast reconstruction procedure. Breast reconstruction surgery cost is high in western nations like Australia and New Zealand. While prime Indian hospitals offer similar procedure at just a fraction of the total amount that these nations charge. Therefore, international patients seeking a quality and cost-effective breast reconstruction surgery can highly rely on India.

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