If you've recently undergone mastectomy surgery on a single breast, you may be facing the difficult decision of whether to have reconstructive surgery. While there are now a wide variety of undergarments that can easily give the appearance of a natural breast, you may still feel that something is missing. On the other hand, any type of surgery shortly following major cancer surgery and treatment always poses risks. Read on for some of the factors you'll want to weigh in the very personal decision of having breast reconstruction following a single mastectomy.
What are some advantages of reconstructive surgery?
In some ways, having a single mastectomy can make the reconstructive surgery decision more difficult than after having a double mastectomy. Because the reconstructive surgery is less difficult for a single breast than for both breasts, the risk of side effects is lessened -- and you don't have the option to simply live life without breasts.
While the primary advantage of having reconstructive surgery is cosmetic, this surgery can often boost your self-esteem following a scary diagnosis and procedure. You may find that you finally feel healed from the cancer experience once you've undergone breast augmentation. With advances in surgical technology that help make breast reconstruction minimally invasive, the surgeon will be able to create a reconstructed breast that looks and feels nearly identical to your natural breast with very little scarring. And as a bonus, you won't need to invest money in reconstructive undergarments or a new wardrobe following your mastectomy surgery.
When might reconstructive surgery not be a good idea?
Despite the more minimally invasive procedures that are now used to reconstruct a breast, there are still some factors that may make this surgery a bad idea for you. Depending upon the long-term effects of the cancer treatment you've undergone and your overall health, you may need to avoid any further surgery for as long as possible. Being placed under general anesthesia always carries some risks, and if your lungs and heart are already weakened from radiation and chemotherapy, this surgery may pose much more danger to you than to a healthier patient.
You may also want to weigh the odds of needing a mastectomy on your other breast before going under the knife. Often, it's best to have both breasts reconstructed at once -- so if there's a chance that your other breast may be removed in the next few months or years, whether preventatively or to eliminate cancer cells, putting off your reconstructive surgery may be a better idea in the long run.
For more information, contact Sam W Huddleston IV, MD or similar medical professional.
As an adult in my 50s, I find that my body isn't as strong as it used to be. But I don't let that stop me from enjoying life! In fact, I make every effort to get the treatments I need from my doctor to improve my health. I know that I'm not a senior yet, but I do all I can to prevent the health problems that affect that age group. Because of this, I put together a health blog for people over age 50. My blog isn't a review of what you can easily find on the Internet. It's a plethora of unique information designed to help you find the services you need fast. What my blog doesn't do is tell you what to do for your health. Instead, it offers guidance and options. Please, enjoy the blog and happy reading.