Life After Breast Cancer And The Reconstructive Options Available

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According to the American Cancer Society, the five-year relative survival rate for localized breast cancer, cancer that has not spread outside the breast, is 99%. For those whose cancer has spread outside the breast to nearby structures of lymph nodes, the survival rate is 86%. These statistics are thanks to the advancements in medicine and the result of finding breast cancer earlier on through screening and awareness. What once was a questionable fight, has now become realistic to get through.

To feel rebirthed and renewed, women question what to do while going through (or after) the life-altering experience. While women have many choices in reconstructive breast surgery, including the option to not undergo a procedure, most women are not sure of options beyond breast implants; here they are, as shared by Haute Beauty expert Dr. Thomas McNemar. 

  • Breast Reconstruction After Breast-Conserving Surgery - Inserting a breast implant is the least invasive breast reconstruction procedure available. It may not require any additional time in a hospital and can be done at the same time as your mastectomy.
  • Breast Reconstruction After a Mastectomy - If you decided to wait to get breast reconstruction surgery after a mastectomy, it is advised to wait six to 12 months after surgery.
  • Breast Reconstruction Using Your Own Body Tissues (Flap Procedures) - They can also be rebuilt using autologous tissue (that is, tissue from elsewhere in the body). Sometimes both implants and autologous tissue are used to rebuild the breast.
  • Reconstructing the Nipple and Areola After Breast Surgery is sometimes also needed.

If you are looking to undergo reconstructive surgery, it is important to consult with your general surgeon and plastic surgeon to customize a surgical plan specific to your needs, whether it is a mastectomy to direct implant or there is a waiting period that includes tissue expanders to prepare for the next surgical steps.

For more information, visit Dr. Thomas McNemar's social media: