Women undergoing cancer treatment are undergoing both a physical and an emotional battle. When cancer affects the breast tissue, some or all of the breast needs to be removed permanently. Experts agree that women who get a breast reconstruction procedure right after mastectomy often experience higher levels of self-confidence and feel better about their situation than those that don’t. Many cancer centers around the country offer individualized treatment plans so that patients have easy access to experts and can set up a complete lifestyle plan after surgery. The lifestyle plan may need to include breast reconstruction surgery.
In some cases, the surgeon and the plastic surgeon can work together to create a complete treatment plan for the patient going through the cancer treatment. Once part or all of the breast tissue has been removed, the plastic surgeon can get to work to create a treatment plan that might include rebuilding the breast to its original (or larger) size and shape, and adding the nipple and areola.
According to the American Cancer Society, the majority of women who have had a mastectomy can have reconstruction and women who have only had a part of the breast around the cancer removed might not need any reconstruction procedures.
Talk to your surgeon about reconstruction procedures after mastectomy, and to find out what lifestyle changes you will need to make to recover fully from treatment.