Immediate vs. Delayed Breast Reconstruction

Breast Reconstruction ConnecticutIf you’re a Houston breast cancer patient who will be having a mastectomy, you have probably already done a lot of research on both the mastectomy procedure as well as on breast reconstruction. But you might be having a hard time deciding on the timing of your procedures. Should you have an immediate breast reconstruction? Or should you wait, and have delayed breast reconstruction in the future? Which procedure fits best into your cancer treatment plan?

Houston breast reconstruction surgeons Dr. Fusi & Dr. Craig have performed hundreds of immediate and delayed breast reconstruction surgeries, and they are here to offer you their advice. Read on to learn more about the benefits of immediate and delayed breast reconstruction.

Why Would I Have Immediate Breast Reconstruction Surgery?

Immediate breast reconstruction surgery is when you have a mastectomy and a breast reconstruction – either by using implants or your body’s own tissue – at the same time. This means you’ll wake up from your mastectomy with your natural breasts removed, and your newly reconstructed breasts in place. Immediate breast reconstruction is recommended for Houston breast cancer patients whose mastectomy completes their cancer treatment plan; that is, Houston patients who do not need chemotherapy or radiation after their mastectomy.

Why Would I Have Delayed Breast Reconstruction Surgery?

Nowadays, delayed reconstruction is not very common. Patients that need either chemotherapy or radiation after mastectomy, are still able to undergo immediate reconstruction safely.  Studies have shown that immediate reconstruction does not interfere with radiation or chemotherapy treatments, nor does it impact the ability to detect breast cancer recurrence later on down the road.  If a patient does need chemotherapy or radiation after their mastectomy, Houston plastic surgeons Dr. Fusi and Dr. Craig routinely work together with your oncologist and radiation oncologist to ensure that your reconstructive plan is integrated into your cancer treatment plan.

A common reason why a woman may choose to have delayed breast reconstruction is personal choice. Some women may prefer to go flat or wear a prosthetic instead of getting breast reconstruction surgery, and then change their minds years later. Since breast reconstruction surgery can be performed at any time in the future, these women may delay the procedure immediately after their mastectomy. While this is a perfectly reasonable choice, delayed reconstruction does result in a different cosmetic result than immediate reconstruction.

What Are My Breast Reconstruction Options?

Whether you and your Houston doctors choose to have immediate or delayed breast reconstruction surgery, you have two choices for the procedure. First, you can reconstruct your breasts using your body’s own tissue. There are a variety of different methods for reconstructing breasts with your body’s tissue, including:

  • DIEP flap, when tissue is taken from the abdomen to reconstruct the breast, but the abdominal muscles are left intact;
  • SIEA flap, when fat, blood vessels, and skin are taken from your lower abdomen to reconstruction your breasts;
  • SGAP flap, when tissue from your buttocks is used to reconstruct your breasts; and
  • PAP flap, when tissue from your upper thigh is used to make your new breasts.

Alternatively, some Houston women may choose to have implant-based breast reconstruction surgery. Reasons for implant-based breast reconstruction surgery include not having enough tissue at the donor sites to adequately reconstruct a breast or breasts, or a desire to go to a different cup size.

How Can I Learn More About Breast Reconstruction?

If you’re a Houston woman facing a mastectomy, and you’d like to talk to a plastic surgeon about your breast reconstruction options, then reach out to Dr. Fusi & Dr. Craig. You can call them for a consultation at (713) 346-9909.