Following a cancer diagnosis, many women are greatly concerned how the loss of one or both breasts will affect their lives. Fortunately, significant achievements have been made in breast reconstruction following a mastectomy.
What is Breast Reconstruction?
A woman’s breast can be reconstructed in one of two ways in Orlando and Lake Mary:
Implants – Made out of silicone, saline, or a combination of both, implants can be inserted during or after a mastectomy. Dr. Johnston places implants underneath the chest muscle (versus on top of it as in the case of breast augmentation).
Flaps – During flap reconstruction, Dr. Johnston creates a breast using tissue taken from other parts of the body, such as the abdomen, back, buttocks, or thighs, which is then transplanted to the chest by reconnecting the blood vessels to new ones in the chest region.
In addition, Dr. Johnston can give women the look and feel of an actual breast, using fat grafting, also known as fat transfer. Fat can be taken from another part of your body, possibly the abdomen or somewhere on your buttocks, through liposuction. The fat will be purified and carefully layered within the new breast to create the desired shape.
What can I expect from Breast Reconstruction in the Orlando Area?
Your new breasts may not look exactly like your natural ones did. However, Dr. Johnston can restore the contour of your new breasts so that your silhouette looks similar to your silhouette before surgery. You may choose to undergo a second surgery for reconstruction of your nipple, if you choose, including tattooing to define the areola skin that surrounds your nipple.
How long is the recovery from Breast Reconstruction?
Your breasts will be bandaged and may have drainage tubes in place for a short time to remove excess fluids. You may be tired and sore for a few weeks following your procedure, and medication will be prescribed to control pain.
You’ll also have sutures in place following your breast reconstruction procedure. The sutures will be absorbable, though, so you won’t need to have them removed during the healing process. Scarring is permanent, but the scars fade over time.
Wearing an elastic bandage or support bra can help keep swelling down and support your breasts in the healing process.
Getting back to normal activities may take up to six weeks or more. Dr. Johnston will let you know of any restrictions to your activities, such as avoiding heavy lifting or strenuous physical activities. Following Dr. Johnston’s post-op recovery instructions will help to ensure a timely and healthy healing process.