Plastic Cosmetic Surgeon (Dubai)
Plastic Cosmetic Surgeon (Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain)
Plastic Cosmetic Surgeon (Abu Dhabi & Khalifa City)
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Breast reconstruction is surgery to make a new breast shape after mastectomy or lumpectomy.
A mastectomy means that the surgeon removes all your breast tissue. Usually, the skin covering the breast is also removed, including the nipple.
The main ways of making a new breast shape include:
You will have to speak to your surgeon or breast care nurse to find out which type is suitable for you.
Your surgeon aims to create a breast similar in size and shape to your own breast. But a reconstructed breast won't be identical. When you are undressed you are likely to notice differences in symmetry and shape. After your reconstruction, you may need to have further surgery to create a nipple or change the shape of your other breast to match your reconstructed one..
It is also possible to have breast reconstruction if you've only had part of your breast removed (conservative surgery).
When to have breast reconstruction
You can have reconstruction at the same time as your breast cancer surgery or later. It is a very personal decision and there is no right or wrong way to approach it.
Doctors call it
If you are having a mastectomy, your surgeon will discuss with you whether you want to have immediate breast reconstruction. They will advise you, taking into account the type and stage of your cancer, other treatments you are likely to need, and your feelings and preferences.
Benefits of immediate reconstruction
An immediate reconstruction, it gives you a new breast straight away. The breast will be different to the one that was removed, but some women find that immediate reconstruction helps them cope more easily with their feelings about the loss of a breast.
With immediate reconstruction:
Drawbacks of immediate reconstruction:
Who can have breast reconstruction?
Reconstruction after conservative surgery
The cosmetic results of conservative surgery plus radiotherapy are usually very good. Few women need reconstructive surgery after having only part of their breast removed. But for some women reconstruction of the remaining breast tissue is possible. It may be possible to have
Quadrantectomy and mini flap reconstruction
A quadrantectomy means the surgeon removes about a quarter of the breast tissue. This type of surgery leaves a dent in the breast and means the treated breast ends up smaller than the other breast. But it is sometimes possible to get back the shape of the breast by filling the dent with a small area of living tissue. The surgeon usually uses tissue from your back to do this - called a latissimus dorsi flap. You will need radiotherapy to the remaining breast tissue to reduce the risk of the cancer coming back.
Reshaping of the breast
This may be an option if you need part of your breast removed and you have quite large breasts. It is called therapeutic mammoplasty. The surgeon removes the tumour and an area of surrounding tissue. The remaining breast tissue is then reshaped to create a smaller breast. You will need radiotherapy to this remaining breast tissue to reduce the risk of the cancer coming back.
At the same time as your reconstructive surgery you can also have surgery to make your other breast smaller (breast reduction) so that they match in size.
How to find a surgeon
Reconstruction is very specialist surgery. So it is very important to have your reconstruction done by a breast or plastic surgeon who is experienced in these techniques. Breast cancer surgeons don’t usually carry out the more complex types ofbreast reconstruction using body tissue. Breast cancer surgeons who are specialised in reconstruction techniques are called oncoplastic surgeons. At the Emirates Hospital our Australian trained female breast cancer surgeon (Dr Sama Zebda) and our German female plastic surgeon (Dr Gie Vanderhault) work together and combine breast cancer surgery with reconstruction.
How to help yourself before surgery
There are three main ways to help yourself before any type of surgery
If you smoke you are more likely to get a chest infection after your anesthetic. Smoking also affects blood supply and delays healing. If you are having reconstruction with your own body tissue, there is a higher risk of complications if you smoke. Body tissue reconstruction can fail because of a poor blood supply. Smokers also have a higher risk of hernia after abdominal flap reconstructions. Your surgeon is likely to ask you to stop smoking 3 months before your surgery.
If you are overweight, you are more likely to have complications with living tissue surgery and more likely to have complications from the anesthetic. Ask to see a dietician and see if they can help you to lose weight before the surgery. You will feel better and it will help you to recover from your operation more quickly.
Getting fitter is a good idea before any operation. With abdominal flap reconstructions, surgeons recommend doing sit ups. Strengthening the abdominal muscles will lower the risk of hernia later and gives better muscle function after the operation. You should aim to build up to 30 sit ups a day, but don’t overdo it too quickly. If you are very unfit, it might be best to get some advice from a fitness trainer before you start. You could ask at your local gym, but make sure you tell them about your medical history.