How Long After Chemotherapy Should I Wait To Get a Breast Reconstruction?
In addition to all the emotions that come into play when a Houston woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, also comes the complicated process of coordinating care. When diagnosed with breast cancer, a Houston woman must meet with her oncologist to determine her course of treatment, then coordinate that care into a schedule. If your course of treatment for breast cancer includes a mastectomy and a breast reconstruction, coordinating your care can become even more complex. When do you get the mastectomy? When do you undergo breast reconstruction? Can you even have a breast reconstruction while you are still being treated with chemotherapy?
Houston plastic surgeons Dr. Fusi & Dr. Craig are experienced, skilled breast reconstruction specialists. To help Houston breast cancer patients navigate the often confusing waters of breast cancer care, they have prepared this information regarding the timing of breast reconstruction which, while not pertinent to the treatment of the cancer itself, is often an important aspect of a Houston woman’s emotional recovery from breast cancer.
Today, Breast Reconstruction Can Happen Immediately and Before Chemotherapy Treatments are over
In years past, women who had mastectomies had very few options regarding breast reconstruction and the timing of the procedure. With new techniques available in both the fields of oncology and plastic surgery, that has all changed. Today’s mastectomy patients can go under anesthesia to have their breasts removed, and wake up from that same procedure with newly reconstructed breasts. Even more, many Houston breast cancer patients are candidates for undergoing a breast reconstruction before they are done with all of their chemotherapy treatments, meaning they never have to face the world without a full, feminine figure complete with breasts.
What Breast Reconstruction Procedures Are Available with Immediate Reconstruction?
When Houston women undergo an immediate breast reconstruction, they have two options for what will be used to reconstruct their breasts – their bodies’ own tissue or a silicone or saline breast implant. Flap surgery, in which a woman’s tissue is used to reconstruct the breasts, is commonly performed by harvesting donor tissue from the abdomen, buttocks, hips, thighs, or back. In their Houston plastic surgery practice, Dr. Fusi & Dr. Craig prefer performing muscle-sparing flap procedure, in which only tissue, skin, and blood vessels are harvested, while muscles stay intact, allowing breast cancer patients to have smoother recovery from their breast reconstruction surgery.
Some women, however, either choose not to have their tissue harvested, or can’t because they don’t have enough fat in the common donor site areas. These women often choose implant-based breast reconstruction, choosing between either a silicone or saline breast implant.
Learning More About Breast Reconstruction and the Coordination of Care
When you have breast cancer, timing all your treatments and procedures is of the utmost importance. Dr. Fusi & Dr. Craig understand that, and they will work with you and your oncologist to coordinate a time most convenient for everyone to perform your breast reconstruction – whether that is immediately after your mastectomy or weeks, months, or even years later.
To learn more about which option is best for you, we recommend you come in for a consultation with Dr. Fusi & Dr. Craig, which can be scheduled by calling (713) 346-9909.