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What Options do I have for Breast Reconstruction Surgery?

These days, women have various options when it comes to breast reconstruction after a mastectomy (double or single).

There’s conflicting data about whether women are happier with or without breast reconstruction. The benefits of this breast surgery are really dependent on your individual circumstances and preferences. What is important is that you’re given all your options, so that you can make the right decision after weighing them up carefully.

When it comes to surgical reconstruction, you can either opt for a breast implant reconstruction, or an autologous or ‘flap’ reconstruction. Here’s a comparison of the two:

  1. Implant reconstruction

A breast implant reconstruction involves inserting an implant containing saline, a silicone gel, or a combination of the two underneath your pectoral chest muscle. The duration of this procedure, and the recovery period, is less than that of a flap reconstruction. Although this option involves shorter surgery than a flap reconstruction, it may require more than one procedure, as both saline and silicone implants have a limited lifespan.

This means you’ll need to undergo more surgery, either to replace the implant or to revise the reconstruction in the future. This option is often best for slim women who have small breasts, as they rarely have enough extra tissue on their backs, bellies, thighs or bottoms to form a good breast shape when undergoing flap reconstruction.

Click here to listen to Liza’s story

  1. Autologous or ‘flap’ reconstruction

Autologous or ‘flap’ breast reconstruction uses tissue from another part of your body, such as your belly, thighs, or back. This means that there will be at least two areas of your body that are healing at the same time. This option is becoming increasingly popular, especially for women looking for a natural alternative to implants. This form of breast surgery is typically a single procedure that lasts a lifetime, however as mentioned previously, the duration of the surgery and the recovery time is longer than that of an implant reconstruction.

Click here to listen to Raquel’s story

According to reliable data from the US though, the number of women choosing to have breast reconstruction surgery increased from 24% in 2009 to 40% in 2014. Whatever option you choose is completely up to you, and whatever makes you feel good about yourself.

At our practice we want to give you the best opportunity to be informed and empowered, in order to get the results you truly deserve.

Got a question about breast reconstruction surgery? Get in touch with us.

Photo courtesy of Abri Kruger