The Basics of a Mastectomy and Reconstructive Surgery
A mastectomy is a common surgical procedure which involves the removal of one or both breasts usually as a result of cancer. A mastectomy may be recommended when the tumour is large in proportion to the breast or the cancer is in more than one area of the breast or pre-cancerous cells have spread throughout the breast.
As A Preventative Measure
A mastectomy can also be performed as a preventative measure for people who are at a high risk of developing the disease. There are different types of mastectomy which can be performed. If no reconstruction is planned a simple mastectomy leaving a scar across the chest is performed. If reconstruction is planned then as much skin of the breast is preserved as part of the reconstruction. This is called a skin sparing mastectomy.
Breast Reconstruction After A Mastectomy
Breast reconstruction is an operation that patients can have to replace the tissue that’s moved during the mastectomy. Some patients decide to have breast reconstruction surgery at the same time as the mastectomy but reconstruction of the breast can also take place after the mastectomy, your surgeon will discuss this with you.
Be Happy & Comfortable
You may decide that you don’t want to do this at all, it’s your choice. The point of the breast reconstruction surgery is that it can help to create a shape that matches the breast that was removed so you are left with breasts that you feel happy and comfortable with. Silicone implants can be used during breast reconstruction which are designed to look and feel like a natural breast. For more information about breast reconstruction after a mastectomy, please visit the MacMillan Cancer Support website.