The loss of the breast after a mastectomy results to both functional and emotional issues in a woman’s everyday life. The sight of the amputated body part causes an enormous psychological burden and low self-esteem feelings to her and her mate.
Nowadays, modern Plastic Surgery has made giant scientific steps in the field of breast reconstruction after mastectomy. Thus everywoman is able to restore her breast no matter the treatment that she has or is about to undergo in order to improve her condition (chemotherapy – radiotherapy).
The techniques of breast reconstruction could be classified into three categories.
1st category: Breast reconstruction with the use of tissue expanders and silicone implants.
2nd category: Combination of autologous tissue and silicone implants.
3rd category: Breast reconstruction using autologous tissue exclusively (tissue from our body itself).
It should be emphasized that each reconstructive method must be individualized:
a) Depending on the mastectomy technique that the patient has undergone
b) The performance or not of radiotherapy to the patient
c) The advantages and disadvantages of every method of choice
d) The patient’s preference for all the above
The modern surgical and reconstructive method of mastectomy is called skin sparing mastectomy and involves breast reconstruction performance at the same surgical time no matter the treatment that the patient is to undergo (chemotherapy – radiotherapy).
This method is performed at the larger breast centers in Europe and North America because it has too many advantages without compromising in the slightest the oncological safety of the patient. Furthermore the patient restores her breast at the same time with mastectomy performance. The patient continues with the extra treatment normally (Chemotherapy – Radiotherapy).
The oncological safety of the result does not get compromised in any way, while the patient is relieved from the distress of the amputated breast’s image.
It reduces the cost of surgery and hospitalization as we perform two operations at the same surgical time while during old fashioned techniques we had to perform the breast reconstruction procedure after the completion of chemotherapy – radiotherapy.
In many cases the total breast reconstruction time is reduced by 1-2 or 3 years since the reconstruction has been performed within 3-6 months of the initial procedure and the end of treatment that the patient has to follow.