What to Expect When Undergoing Breast Reconstruction

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month for good reason. Breast cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer in women. It’s estimated that 1 in 8 women will develop this life-threatening disease in their lifetime.

Fortunately, advances in early detection rates and cancer treatment techniques make it more possible than ever to win your fight against breast cancer. The oncology team at Oasis MD provides the latest and most effective treatments available for overcoming breast cancer. They’re also focused on what happens after treatment and helping you live the life you desire.

James Chao, MD specializes in oncoplastic surgery. He works closely with surgical oncologist Steven Chen, MD to provide treatment that addresses the cancer while preserving the appearance and cosmetic appeal of your breasts following cancer surgery.

Understanding the basics of breast reconstruction

Breast reconstruction is performed to restore the appearance of your breast(s) following cancer surgery. It may include implants to restore the shape and size of your breasts or a procedure that transfers tissue from other areas of your body to reconstruct the breast. Sometimes breast reconstruction surgery requires an implant as well as tissue transfer for the best outcome.

You may also have the option of having immediate reconstruction that’s performed during the same surgery as your mastectomy or lumpectomy. This requires Dr. Chen and Dr. Chao to work very closely together before, during, and after the procedure to combine the best treatment outcome with the most pleasing cosmetic result.

Immediate breast reconstruction spares many women the emotional trauma related to the unavoidable disfiguring results of breast cancer surgery. Immediate reconstruction can also provide more cosmetically appealing results overall compared to delayed reconstruction.

How do I decide which reconstructive method is best for me?

The type and extent of your breast reconstruction depend upon the type and nature of your cancer and the required surgical treatment. Your Oasis MD team works closely with you to determine the best option for your case before scheduling your surgery.

You may, for instance, undergo a lumpectomy or removal of just the cancerous tumor, which typically requires less extensive reconstruction.

Other types of breast cancer surgery include:

Total mastectomy

Also known as a simple mastectomy, a total mastectomy involves removal of the entire breast, which includes breast tissue, areola, and the nipple.

Skin-sparing mastectomy

During a skin-sparing mastectomy, your Oasis MD surgeon removes the breast tissue, nipple and, areola but leaves behind the breast skin.

Nipple-sparing mastectomy

A nipple- or areola-sparing mastectomy removes breast tissue but spares the skin, nipple, and areola.

Regardless of your reconstructive options, breast reconstruction surgery is a complex procedure that requires extensive surgical skills. And immediate reconstruction requires a duo of gifted surgeons and an oncology team that specialize in the procedure. You’ll find what you need at Oasis MD.

What happens during an immediate breast reconstruction procedure?

The details of immediate breast reconstruction depend on the nature and extent of the cancer as well as the type of reconstruction planned. You can rely on the oncology team at Oasis MD to thoroughly discuss the surgery with you before scheduling your procedure.

In general, however, the surgery lasts several hours since it’s a two-part procedure that includes removal of the cancerous tissue, usually excision of nearby lymph nodes for biopsy, and reconstruction of your breast.

Schedule an appointment at Oasis MD today to discuss your breast cancer treatment as well as your options for delayed versus immediate breast reconstruction. We can provide the support you need to make choices that best suit your lifestyle and personality. Call the office or book your visit online. 

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