Is breast reconstruction considered major surgery?

Breast reconstruction is major surgery. A person can expect to spend several days in the hospital after both implant reconstruction and flap reconstruction. People may need more than one surgery to fully reconstruct the breast(s). Skin flap surgery has a longer recovery time than reconstruction using implants.

What type of surgery is breast reconstruction?

Breast reconstruction generally falls into two categories: implant-based reconstruction or flap reconstruction. Implant reconstruction relies on breast implants to help form a new breast mound. Flap (or autologous) reconstruction uses the patient's own tissue from another part of the body to form a new breast.

Is a mastectomy and reconstruction major surgery?

It's major surgery that removes both breasts to remove cancer, or to reduce the risk of breast cancer in a woman who may be at high risk for the disease. It usually requires a short hospital stay and a longer recovery time that may take a few weeks to several weeks, depending on the circumstances.

How long does it take to recover from breast reconstructive surgery?

Most women can start to get back to normal activities within 6 to 8 weeks. If implants are used without flaps, your recovery time may be shorter. Some things to keep in mind: Certain types of reconstruction surgery do not restore normal feeling to your breast, but in other types some feeling might return over time.

How painful is breast reconstruction surgery?

Right after the surgery, you will probably feel weak, and you may feel pain for 2 to 3 weeks. You may have a pulling or stretching feeling in your breast area. You can expect to feel better and stronger each day, although you may need pain medicine for a week or two.

What You Need to Know About Breast Reconstruction Surgery

What are the disadvantages of breast reconstruction?

Implants are indeed foreign bodies, and they can become infected, scar tissue can develop around them (known as “capsular contracture”), the implant can “fail” (leak or break), and the other breast usually requires a “balancing procedure” – such as an implant, a breast lift, or a breast reduction – in order to achieve ...

Do you have to wear a bra after reconstruction?

Wearing a bra after you have recovered from reconstruction is largely a matter of personal preference. However, many patients choose to do so in order to support their new breasts and potentially reduce future sagging. It also tends to be more comfortable than going braless.

How many surgeries are needed for breast reconstruction?

Implant-based vs.

While the recovery time for implant-based reconstruction is only half the time—about six weeks—this procedure typically requires at least two surgical operations and several appointments with your plastic surgeon to expand and stretch the skin before your surgery.

What does it feel like to have breast reconstruction?

Every woman's breast reconstruction experience is unique. Right after surgery, you may have tenderness, numbness, and twinges of pain. These sensations usually come and go, and often decrease within the first few months after surgery. However, some may last months, even one year or longer.

How long will I be off work after mastectomy and reconstruction?

Most women can return to work after six weeks and do things they did before surgery. In the six weeks after surgery, chances are you'll be completely focused on recovering physically.

How painful is a double mastectomy and reconstruction?

Even breast biopsy, lumpectomy, breast augmentation and breast reconstruction can result in chronic breast and chest pain. Our experience indicates that post-mastectomy pain can be similar in severity to that experienced by limb amputation patients, with average patient-reported pain scores of 8 out of 10.

How long do you stay in hospital after a mastectomy and reconstruction?

Many people go home on the same day as their operation. Others are in hospital for about 2 to 7 days. The length of your stay depends on the type of operation you have and your recovery.

Where do they get fat for breast reconstruction?

Breast reconstruction after mastectomy is often followed by autologous breast fat grafting (AFG). AFG is an elective procedure in which fat is harvested via liposuction, usually from the abdomen or thighs, and then injected into one or both breasts to improve cosmesis.

What is a Stage 1 breast reconstruction?

Stage One: Placing the Tissue Expander

Surgeons will place a tissue expander underneath your chest wall muscles to slowly expand the tissue in preparation for either implants or tissue based reconstruction. Your doctor may also use an acellular dermal matrix to provide additional support for the tissue expander.

What is the most common complication after implant reconstruction?

Infection after breast implant reconstruction

Sometimes a bacterial infection can develop in the tissue around a breast implant or tissue expander days or weeks after the reconstruction surgery. Symptoms of an infection can include a high fever and breast pain, redness, and swelling.

Does breast reconstruction increase risk of recurrence?

Background: Women who undergo autologous breast reconstruction have been reported to have an increased risk of breast cancer recurrence compared with those who have mastectomy alone.

Who is a good candidate for breast reconstruction surgery?

You may be a candidate for breast reconstruction if: You are able to cope well with your diagnosis and treatment. You do not have additional medical conditions or other illnesses that may impair healing. You have a positive outlook and realistic goals for restoring your breast and body image.

What is the safest breast reconstruction?

Implants are a safe choice for breast reconstruction, but they may have to be replaced at certain points in life. Breast implants are a safe and popular choice for breast reconstruction.

Does breast reconstruction last forever?

Most women with implants can keep those implants for decades without problems, although some patients decide to change the size or type at some point down the road. Although they are quite durable, it's not impossible for an implant complication to arise, which would require removal and replacement.

What percentage of mastectomy patients get reconstruction?

Breast reconstruction can be initiated either at the time of mastectomy (immediate reconstruction) or at a later date (delayed reconstruction). Immediate reconstruction is the most common practice in the U.S., selected for approximately 75 percent of patients.

How long does it take to recover from fat grafting for breast reconstruction?

Your breasts will be swollen and bruised, but you should experience little pain in that area. Most swelling in the region should subside within three weeks. The donor sites will be bruised, swollen and sore, and swelling there can last longer – up to six months.

Should I wear a bra after fat grafting?

Your breasts will be swollen and sore immediately following your surgery; during this phase, you will need to wear a surgical bra or medical compression bra without underwires.

How much fat do you need for breast reconstruction?

How much fat would I need for breast fat grafting? You may need approximately 200 to 400 cc of fat per breast. However, you may need a second procedure to achieve your desired breast size. Your surgeon will determine the amount of fat you will need during your consultation.

How long are you on bed rest after a mastectomy?

It's not uncommon to take several weeks off from work while recovering from surgery — both physically and emotionally. The amount of time taken varies from person to person, but usually this ranges between 4 and 8 weeks.

Do I need a mastectomy pillow?

Many women find that using a mastectomy pillow helps them to feel more comfortable and relaxed following surgery. Mastectomy chest pillows are an essential part of the healing process, and they can help you to feel your best following surgery.
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