Breast Reconstruction: Recovering Your Femininity
For many women, a mastectomy, the removal of one or both breasts, is the best course of treatment for breast cancer. Some women learn to live happily with the results, but many women prefer to undergo breast reconstruction. For women who need a mastectomy, it is sometimes possible for the surgeon to combine it with the reconstruction.
There are two main types of breast reconstruction surgery available, both involving the rebuilding of the breast to the approximate size and shape it had been before the mastectomy. Sometimes, a surgeon deems that a combination of the two types of surgery is the best course of action.
Implant reconstruction requires less time in surgery. It covers two separate stages. The surgeon administers a general anesthetic and makes an incision under the breast. He or she inserts a tissue expander, which is an inflatable breast implant, filled with saline beneath the skin and the chest muscle. Following this, you will see the surgeon on a weekly or bi-weekly basis for saline injections into the expander. The typical number of visits is 6 to 8.
The second stage of the surgery takes place between 3 and 6 months after the final injection. The surgeon removes the tissue expander and replaces it with a permanent implant. He or she also re-shapes the skin at the same time.
Autologous reconstruction uses tissue from another part of the body to build the size and shape of the breast. The tissue can be taken from a number of sites, usually the abdomen or the back. This type of reconstruction requires a general anesthetic. It is sometimes possible for the surgeon to carry out autologous surgery at the same time as a mastectomy.
The surgeon repairs the part of the body where the tissue was taken from with sutures or sometimes with a permanent mesh. The surgeon uses the harvested tissue to reconstruct the breast and then reshapes the skin, closing the incision with sutures.
Recovering from Breast Reconstruction Surgery
Expect to be in the hospital for up to 6 days following surgery. You may have a catheter inserted near the incision site for 1 or 2 weeks for draining purposes. After the catheter is removed, keep the site clean and covered with a breathable gauze pad for up to 48 hours until it has healed.
Recovery times depend entirely upon the type of procedure. In general, implant surgery has a recovery time of around 2 weeks, while recovery from autologous surgery takes between 6 to 8 weeks.
Make sure you speak to the surgeon about pain medications and antibiotics and try to get the prescriptions filled before surgery. Follow the surgeon’s instructions on when to begin exercising and returning to your normal level of activity. Keep all follow-up appointments, as the surgeon will want to make sure that the surgery has not caused any further complications or that anything has gone wrong. In the case of cancer, he or she will also want to make sure that the cancer has not returned.
The average cost of breast reconstruction surgery is $10,575.00 per breast. Pricing can go as high as $50,000 depending on the complexity of the surgery and post-operative needs. Unfortunately, some insurance policies don’t cover it.
However, you can find breast reconstruction surgery at an affordable price in Mexico. Almater Hospital in Mexicali, Mexico provides modern facilities, the highest standards of hygiene and safety, and affordable procedures at the hand of experienced surgeons trained in the best schools in Mexico and the U.S. Contact us today for an evaluation and to learn more about our breast reconstruction options.