After the partial or complete amputation of one or both breasts in the context of a cancer illness or an operation designed to preclude breast cancer (breast preservation therapy or mastectomy), the surgical reconstruction of the breast is recommended. Even when they are no longer particularly young, most women perceive this as particularly important. They feel that they have been robbed of the integrity of their body as females, and at a certain point in time – which they wish to determine themselves – they feel the need to draw the line under their cancer and its after-effects.
Many patients are fed up with having to use special bras with equalising pads, as in spite of the very best quality these are perceived as uncomfortable, especially in the summer months. On the one hand, these women would like to be able to show an appealing, symmetrical neckline when dressed. On the other, they wish to feel attractive again when standing naked in front of the mirror or in the eyes of their partner. Following a unilateral operation, the situation is often exacerbated by abnormal posture caused by imbalance.
The breast can be reconstructed with an implant, or using tissue from the patient's own body (microsurgical reconstruction, e.g. DIEP), or by a combination of several options. The treatment method for breast reconstruction depends i.a. from the size of the breast, the fabric texture and removal options, but above all from personal wishes and ideas. Our aims in breast reconstruction are to adapt the outward appearance in terms of volume, contour and consistency in such a way that the differences between the reconstructed breast and a natural breast are as inconspicuous as possible, and to enable the patient to stop wearing special medical equalising underwear.
Having said that, the breast which was not affected by the disease does not need to be adapted to the reconstructed breast in every case.
DURATION OF OPERATION: 90 minutes or longer
ANAESTHETIC: general anaesthetic
HOSPITALISATION: 1 – 10 days
AFTER-TREATMENT: normally, compression bra for 6 weeks
PRESENTABILITY, RETURN TO WORK: 7 – 21 days the method
SPORT: after 4 – 6 weeks, full performance after 12 weeks
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