I didn’t have reconstruction after my mastectomy. Can I have reconstruction now?
Women who choose to go flat after a mastectomy often wonder if it’s too late to have reconstruction later. Studies have shown that approximately 44% of women don’t opt for reconstruction after a mastectomy for various reasons, including the need for quick recovery, concerns about the costs, not wanting to deal with bras, etc. Whatever your reasons may have been, you might now wonder if the choice of reconstruction is still available.
The good news is that breast reconstruction can be done whenever you want. Most individuals opt for reconstruction during or immediately after the mastectomy, but it can also be done several months or years after the procedure. During the reconstruction, the plastic surgeon will recreate the breast shape with artificial implants, tissue flaps from other parts of your body, or a combination of both methods.
It’s never too late to get breast reconstruction after your mastectomy. The choice lies entirely in your hands. As such, you can take your time to consider your options and determine if you really want a reconstruction. Below, we discuss some potential deciding factors for breast reconstruction and what you can expect from the procedure.
Factors to consider when deciding if you want breast reconstruction
- Are you comfortable with prosthetic or removable breasts?
Some women prefer using prosthetic or removable breasts instead of going through breast reconstruction. You must decide if you want permanent breasts or are comfortable with removable breasts that you can wear whenever you want.
- Did you have a mastectomy on one breast?
Most of us like the feeling of symmetry and proportionality. If you had a mastectomy on one breast, you might experience a natural imbalance in your body, especially when you wear bathing suits or dresses. If you want to restore your body’s natural balance and proportions, you can opt for reconstruction.
- Do you have a job that demands constant physical exertion?
Some women choose not to get a reconstruction because the implants can limit their range of motion. Others might choose flap procedures that cut through the muscles in the lower abdomen, leading to muscular weakness. Some of the latest breast reconstruction techniques preserve your muscle structure and minimize the risk of weakness. Even so, the risk of minor changes in functionality and strength remains. That’s an important factor to consider when considering breast reconstruction.
- Will a breast reconstruction make you feel better or more complete?
One of the most important deciding factors is whether a breast reconstruction will make you feel better. While cost, loss of optimal muscle functionality, proportionality, etc., are important, nothing matters more than your long-term mental health.
Consult Andres Plastic Surgery to Discuss your Breast Reconstruction Options
Discussing your treatment options with a cosmetic surgeon can give you immense comfort and clarity. Once you know exactly what you can expect from the procedure, you might have a clearer understanding of whether you truly want a reconstruction. Dr. Andres is a board-certified and award-winning breast surgeon who will carefully and patiently discuss your concerns to offer honest advice on your breast reconstruction options. Schedule a consultation today!
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