Some of the strongest women I’ve met are patients with breast cancer. Despite the diagnosis, they work and participate fully in society and carry their load at home. The diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer leave a long lasting impact both emotionally and physically. It’s my privilege and I’m proud to help in this difficult transition to all breast cancer survivors.
What is immediate vs. delayed breast reconstruction?
Immediate breast reconstruction can be done right after the mastectomy during the same surgery. Delayed breast reconstruction is referred to performing the reconstruction at a different surgery after the mastectomy has healed. The decision of immediate reconstruction vs. delayed reconstruction is customized to the individual need and intraoperative anatomy (See before and after photos of breast reconstruction surgery with implants).
How long is the implant only breast reconstruction vs flap reconstruction recovery?
Patients usually stay overnight in the hospital for implant only breast reconstruction. For a pedicle flap reconstruction, a typical stay of 2-3 days is expected. For a free flap reconstruction, a stay of 3-5 days in the hospital is expected. Walking after surgery is essential to reduce risk of blood clots in the legs. However, no strenuous activities for 6 week is recommended.
Breast Reconstruction Benefits
The flap is your own tissue so the reconstruction is expected to last for a lifetime once completed. Complications with implants such as rupture and capsular contracture require further surgery are avoided. But due to the complexity of the flap surgeries, there are higher surgical risks early on compared to implant based reconstruction.