The Decision of “When” in Breast Reconstruction
Breast reconstruction can be done immediately after a mastectomy during the same operative session or can be delayed until months, if not years, later. The decision of “when” is highly personal with factors to consider with your treating physicians. Following are reasons why women may elect to reconstruct their breast(s) at the same time as mastectomy (immediate breast reconstruction) or postpone to a later time (delayed breast reconstruction.)
Why immediate breast reconstruction?
- fewer surgeries with mastectomy and breast reconstruction in same OR session
- may result in better cosmetic outcome
- nipple-sparing mastectomy chosen
- may offer quicker emotional recovery
- may offer quicker overall recovery
Why delayed breast reconstruction?
- medical treatments such as radiation therapy
- smoking cessation required (perforator flaps)
- improve current health status
- prefer to heal first from breast cancer diagnosis before making decisions regarding reconstruction
- recovery time planning
- uncertain of best personal option
- personal preference
There is no right or wrong answer in which is best as far as timing for breast reconstruction. Whether you choose immediate or delayed breast reconstruction, you can still obtain natural looking and feeling breasts through natural tissue breast reconstruction.
TESTIMONIALS FROM DR. LEVINE’S PATIENTS
I wanted you to know how grateful I am for the use of your lab coat to cry on that one day in my hospital room. As much as I appreciate professionalism in my doctors, I value you more human nature’s willingness to be compassionate and understanding. Thank you for your arms of kindness and car that day. The days before me seem so much brighter than they have in the past years.