Breast Reconstruction Awareness
Getting diagnosed with breast cancer is one of the scariest events that can happen in a woman’s life. The road following will be challenging and a test of strength. You will worry about many things during your treatment and recovery. However, one thing you shouldn’t have to worry about is the toll that treatment will take on your body.
Many women who survive breast cancer express that they struggle to accept their bodies after mastectomy. It is common to feel as if you have been stripped of the most feminine part of yourself, and it can be difficult to carry the very visible scars of your battle. That’s why all women should know that there is a way to reclaim their bodies following breast cancer treatment.
Breast Reconstruction to Restore Your Body
Breast reconstruction surgery can be performed following your mastectomy to restore the volume and shape of the breasts. The procedure can use implants and/or patient tissue.
Using implants is typically a two-step process. An expander is placed in a pocket where the breast tissue once was. Over a period of several weeks, the size of the expander is increased to develop and shape the breast pocket for the implant. The second step involves the placement of your implant.
The alternative to implants is using a TRAM flap to recreate the breast. Patient tissue is harvested from the lower abdomen and placed in the pocket of your original breast. Women who are candidates for this technique choose it because it achieves breasts that look and feel natural. The process also provides the benefits of a minor tummy tuck.
A third option simultaneously combines the benefits of implant reconstruction with the benefits of using your body’s tissue to optimize the coverage over the implant. Latissimus flap reconstruction is a common reconstructive technique where tissue is borrowed from your bra strap region and used in conjunction with two-stage implant reconstruction to achieve a natural and aesthetically pleasing result.
Another contemporary reconstructive option is the use of fat grafting techniques to transfer fat from one area of your body to a region of your breast. This provides an improvement in breast contour without requiring the use of an implant.
Insurance for Breast Reconstruction
You will likely have many fears surrounding your breast cancer battle. However, one concern you don’t need to have is whether you will be able to afford breast reconstruction after your treatment. Breast enhancement procedures can be pricey. Luckily, the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA), passed in 1998, relieves that fear. WHCRA states that mastectomy benefits offered by insurance carriers must include reconstruction of the breast(s) removed by mastectomy. The act also includes correction of the opposite, unremoved breast to help restore breast symmetry. Women battling cancer shouldn’t live in fear that they will have lost the natural appearance of their body if they survive.
Choosing a Surgeon
Breast reconstruction requires a different skill set than what it takes for traditional breast augmentation. Developing a relationship with your surgeon and feeling confident in their results plays an important role in achieving natural, satisfying results. You should always choose a surgeon who has extensive experience with breast reconstruction and who understands the physical and emotional impact reconstruction has on their patients. You should develop an open relationship with your surgeon so they have a clear understanding of your surgical goals.
Grotting & Cohn Plastic Surgery
Dr. James Grotting and Dr. Al Cohn of Grotting & Cohn Plastic Surgery are both board-certified plastic surgeons. Dr. Grotting and Dr. Cohn are specially trained in reconstructive surgery and are passionate about helping women reclaim their bodies, confidence, and happiness. At Grotting & Cohn Plastic Surgery, we are proud to treat every one of our patients as the survivor she is, and it is our number one priority that every patient feels comfortable and receives outstanding results.
If you have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and are planning ahead or have recently undergone a mastectomy and wish to restore your body, schedule your consultation at Grotting & Cohn Plastic Surgery today. Contact our office at 205.930.1600 or fill out our online contact form here for additional information.