Reconstruction of a breast removed due to cancer or other disease is one of the most rewarding surgical procedures for Dr. Byun. New medical techniques and technology makes it possible to create a breast almost indistinguishable from a natural breast. Reconstruction is often possible immediately following mastectomy (breast removal), so a patient may never have the experience of being without a breast.
Reconstruction may require two or more surgeries depending on the extent of the procedures required and how well the reconstructed breast will match the other. The nipple and areola must be replaced for full reconstruction, but some patients opt to simply have the general breast contour restored.
Surgery takes between one and six hours and is performed under local or general anesthesia but may need a hospital stay of one to five days following operation. Discomfort upon conclusion varies between patients. Sutures dissolve internally, and dressings are removed in a week.
The most common complication is the formation of scar tissue around the implant which may make the breast feel hard. This is because scar tissue may envelop the implant, compressing the implant. Infection is also a possibility and could result in the patient’s body rejecting the implant or the transferred tissue. In addition, there is a small possibility that the surgical procedure may prevent a recurrence of the original tumor from being detected.
Do bear in mind that post-mastectomy breast reconstruction is no simple procedure. Dr. Byun will explore the many options available to you as you consider the procedure.