Breast reconstruction after mastectomy was once considered a viable prospect only for younger patients and those without complicated treatment or health issues to deal with following surgery. However, a recent study in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons finds that more and more women are opting for reconstructive surgery following cancer treatment, with the full support of their oncologist and cosmetic surgeon.
A Steady Increase
The most notable increase in mastectomy reconstruction has come from women once considered too high risk for the procedure. That is, those who were over the age of 65, had advanced breast cancer, were undergoing radiation treatment, were obese, or suffered from underlying health issues, such as diabetes.
Due to these complications or underlying issues, these patients were once discouraged – or barred outright – from seeking breast reconstructive surgery, leaving them with a constant, visual reminder of their recent cancer and the cost of battling the disease. This often had emotional effects which remained long after the cancer had been eradicated.
Improvements in breast reconstruction after radiation, and a better understanding of the disease process in recent years, has allowed surgeons to change that, offering breast reconstruction to a wider range of patients than ever before.
A Multitude of Options
While many patients do choose to undergo breast reconstructive surgery after the completion of radiation or chemotherapy treatment, a growing number are choosing to have the procedure performed immediately following the mastectomy procedure itself.
For those seeking mastectomy reconstruction, both standard and high-risk patients, there are a number of options including saline or silicone implants, or the use of their own abdominal tissue, to help them achieve the desired look from their procedure.
Among the higher-risk group of patients, the use of breast implants rose 14 percent over the past decade. It is believed to be due to the simple fact that saline and silicone breast implants present a straightforward solution to breast reconstruction, requiring less time on the surgical table and a potentially shorter recovery time for the patient.
Learn More about Breast Reconstruction After Mastectomy
To learn more about mastectomy reconstruction, contact our offices at 303-578-4193 and schedule a consultation with one of our Board Certified Plastic surgeons.