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Breast Reconstruction

There is no need to suffer the pain of missing breast tissue after traumatic surgery.

- It aims to rebuild the missing breast tissue.
- It is performed under general anaesthesia.
- The operation takes 2 to 3 hours on average.
- The patient may need to stay in the hospital for one night.
- Bandages are released 3 days after the operation and the patient can go back to normal life. Sports bras are obligatory for 3 weeks. 

Who is breast reconstruction surgery for?

Reconstruction of the missing breast tissue has become a frequent practice in the past few years for women who are missing one or both breasts; sometimes due to congenital reasons, at times due to a trauma or most often as a result of a lumpectomy, mastectomy surgery (breast tissue removal). Developing surgical techniques and the successful results that have been obtained mean that breast reconstruction surgery is now  widely performed.

For patients who are diagnosed with breast cancer and are in an operative stage, the process of surgery, followed by the completion of adjuvant treatments (chemotherapy, radiotherapy) and healing usually takes 1 to 2 years. At the end of this period, the reconstruction option is evaluated with the general surgeon and oncologist. In early stages, for patients with a diagnosis who need to undergo a mastectomy, reconstruction surgery can also be performed in one session.

How is breast reconstruction surgery performed?

There are three options for the breast reconstruction operation. While operating with tissue expanders and prostheses is one option, making use of the patient's own tissue is another option. Finally, tissue transplantation enriched with stem cells is also commonly used in breast reconstruction surgery.

Depending on the condition of the patient, it is also possible to combine some of the options, where necessary. The condition of the patient’s operating area and the size and shape of the other breast play an important role in making that choice. The quality and sufficiency of the skin in the breast area is very important. If the skin is inadequate and the other breast is large, first, a tissue expander is placed. After that, according to patient’s choice, the area is repaired with either a silicone prosthesis or the patient's own muscle tissue. If the healthy breast’s tissue is large and sagging, this breast can also be operated on during the same surgery. It can be reduced and lifted in order for both breasts to be the same size.

How long does breast reconstruction surgery last?

Breast reconstruction depends on the planned surgery. It takes 1 to 3 hours on average.

What are the advantages of breast reconstruction surgery?

There are huge advantages for breast reconstruction surgery for any patients who have had a breast tumour, or have had to have one or both breasts removed. Over the last twenty-five years the medical advances of tissue expanders, silicone prosthesis and better definition of the anatomical and surgical details of the tissues to be used, have meant that this surgery is a reliable and easy option.

Are there scars left after breast reconstruction surgery?

Sutured areas and lengths vary depending on the technique used. As with all surgical scars, the aim is to create a scar that will develop into a straight line with a light colour within a year.

When can the patient go back to normal life after a breast reconstruction surgery?

The healing process takes approximately 3 weeks after surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the main factors to be considered before breast reconstruction surgery?

Before a reconstruction following breast cancer, the condition of the patient is evaluated with the general surgeon and oncologist. It is important that the breast reconstruction surgery is performed at a time that is appropriate for the patient. As with all surgical procedures generally, the patient should avoid taking blood thinners, limit drinking alcohol and smoking as much as possible and ideally, stop altogether in the last couple of days before the surgery.

What factors should be considered after a breast reconstruction surgery?

After a breast reconstruction surgery, the patient can begin to exercise after 3 to 6 weeks. It is very important to have regular breast examinations after surgery.

Are the results of breast reconstruction surgery permanent?

The results of breast reconstruction surgery are permanent. A revision or a second operation might be necessary to obtain a perfect symmetrical result. 

Breast reconstruction

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