ARE YOU A CANDIDATE?
Unfortunately, not all patients are candidates for breast reconstruction.
Breast reconstruction is a good option for you if:
- you have a positive outlook and realistic goals for restoring your breast and body image
- you are willing to undergo multiple surgical procedures for reconstruction
- you do not have any medical conditions or other illnesses that may impair your tissues from healing (i.e. active smoking, uncontrolled diabetes) or put you at risk to undergo multiple surgeries
Additionally, when speaking with your plastic surgeon, it is important to discuss the following in guiding you towards the best option for reconstruction:
- surgery to one or both breasts
- type of breast cancer surgery planned: lumpectomy or mastectomy +/- lymph node surgery
- need for chemotherapy or radiation therapy
While it is normal to feel a sense of urgency to want the cancer to be removed immediately, it is important to make an educated decisions regarding your treatment that are not rushed.
Ask questions and make a list of your reconstructive goals.
- Talk about what you want your breasts to look like after surgery. Your surgeon should be able to tell you what is achievable and what is not.
- Ask about the risks and benefits of each procedure.
- Ask to see before and after photos of other women who have had reconstruction similar to what you are planning to have.
Although surgery can give you a relatively natural-looking breast, a reconstructed breast will never look or feel exactly the same as the breast that was removed.
It is important that you feel ready for the emotional adjustment involved in breast reconstruction. The creation of a new breast can dramatically improve your self-image, self-confidence, and quality of life.