Perhaps you have struggled with breast cancer for years. You have dealt with radiation and chemotherapy. Nothing about cancer scares you anymore. Strangely though, you have second thoughts about breast reconstruction. On one hand your self-esteem has been compromised because of how your chest looks after a serious battle with cancer. On the other hand, you really want to consider breast reconstruction but you’re faced with fears. Chances are, you have heard or read so much about breast reconstruction. In the process, you came across myths that you somehow believed. Here’s a list of the most common misconceptions.
Breast Reconstruction Is Only For Those Who Have Undergone Mastectomy
This is not true. Breast reconstruction is available for women who have undergone either lumpectomy or mastectomy. However, there are other conditions and reasons that may call for breast reconstruction other than mastectomy. Some reasons are purely cosmetic while others are strictly for medical reasons. It is also important to note that while there may be limitations and reservations based your health, the procedure you choose will not disqualify you for breast reconstruction. With the wide range of breast reconstruction procedures available, your surgeon will and should advise you on the way forward after assessing your general health and underlying conditions you may have.
Only Artificial Breast Implants Can Be Used In Breast Reconstruction
While this might be true for some women, it is a myth for majority. Like already mentioned, there is a wide range of breast reconstruction procedures. It gets better with the fact that breast reconstruction as a medical field continues to grow daily with new procedures coming up almost every year. There is for instance, autologous breast reconstruction where a surgeon takes tissues from other parts of your body and moves the tissues to the breast.
You Have To Wait Several Months After Mastectomy To Get Breast Reconstruction
There is yet another common myth that goes along with this one – that breast reconstruction can only be done during mastectomy. These two are myths you should never believe. Breast reconstruction can be done as an immediate, staged or delayed procedure. The immediate option can be done after the cancerous tumor is removed. It features improved cosmetic results mainly because it saves breast skin and significantly reduces scarring. Most importantly though, it allows you to heal quickly and avoid going back into the theater for another surgery.
Then there is the delayed option which is done after one has healed from mastectomy. It is a good option for patient women as there is no limit how long one can wait before going for it after mastectomy. Staged reconstruction is a mixture of immediate and delayed breast reconstruction. Tissue expanders are placed in for a few months before the breast is reconstructed.
Radiation And Chemotherapy Disqualifies One From Breast Reconstruction
This is not true. Both chemotherapy and radiation can take a toll on your health. As such, they can easily compromise the timing options as well as the breast reconstruction types available to you. That is exactly where the aforementioned autologous breast reconstruction option comes in as an alternative.