In 40% of the cases, the affected breast must be completely removed. Although there are a number of very appropriate methods to reconstruct breasts, only about every 10th woman takes advantage to do so. Reasons given are, on the one hand, insufficient information by the attending physician and on the other hand, the reluctance of patients to undergo a further, physically and emotionally stressful operation.
As plastic, aesthetic and reconstructive surgeon, it is my job to be concerned about the possibility of breast reconstruction and to inform and give my patients courage in decision-making.
It is important to know that:
- Restoration of the removed breast can very often be done simultaneously with cancer surgery. You do not have to wait 1-2 years for reconstruction.
- Breast reconstruction can be done with the use of silicon-gel-filled breast implants or with autologous tissue (flaps or fat).
- Restorations using body tissue, in the vast majority, look more natural and beautiful than reconstruction with implants and feel better.
- The reconstruction operation, if it is done with own body tissue, is compatible with both chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
- All health insurance covers the cost of both the procedure for the reconstruction, as well as all necessary follow-up operations (restoration of the nipple, shape approximation of the healthy breast, etc.).
The results of a successful breast reconstruction can readily be seen and bring massive relief in everyday life for those affected. Annoying prostheses in the bra or swimsuit are no longer necessary. In addition, breast reconstruction is often accompanied by an increase in self-esteem and is for those affected a great help in coping with life after the illness.