Recourse to cosmetic and reconstructive surgery is encouraged after recovery from breast cancer. In fact, breast reconstruction is now part of the overall management of breast cancer.
Mastectomy (total or partial surgical removal of a breast) remains a very difficult moment for a woman fighting breast cancer.
Cosmetic and reconstructive surgery aims to reconstruct the shape of the breast that was amputated after a mastectomy. Breast reconstruction surgery aims to recreate a symmetrical, harmonious breast.
When does breast reconstruction take place?
Breast reconstruction following breast cancer can take place at the same time as the mastectomy, in which case it is called immediate reconstruction.
Breast reconstruction after breast cancer can take place a few months after the end of cancer treatment. Indeed, after a mastectomy, it is often necessary to continue treatment. This is why breast reconstruction takes place in a second phase, we speak of secondary breast reconstruction.
Breast reconstruction: several techniques
There are several techniques of breast reconstruction adapted to each patient:
- Breast reconstruction by placing a breast implant.
- Breast reconstruction by placing a breast prosthesis after tissue expansion.
- Breast reconstruction by removal of the dorsalis major muscle flap. Breast reconstruction is done through the skin and muscle of the back.
- Breast reconstruction is also done by removing excess skin from the abdomen and the rectus abdominis muscle.
Reconstruction of the areola
The final stage of breast reconstruction after breast cancer is the reconstruction of the areola by dermopigmentation and the nipple by a graft or a local flap.
Each woman’s experience with breast cancer is unique and each woman has her own path to recovery.