Breast reconstructive surgery following a mastectomy must be tailored to the individual patient. While a mastectomy may be necessary to treat cancer, the loss of one or both breasts can significantly affect a woman’s self-confidence and sense of femininity. For this reason, some women choose to undergo a breast reconstruction procedure, either immediately following a mastectomy or some time after. Prior to undergoing these procedures, however, there are many considerations a patient and her surgeon should take into account, including:
- Whether there is a significant family history of breast cancer – If other women in a patient’s family have been diagnosed with breast cancer, there is a higher risk that the disease will be more aggressive and eventually affect the second breast. As a result, preventative prophylactic mastectomy on the cancer-free breast may be recommended prior to breast reconstructive surgery.
- Whether a patient will undergo radiation treatment – Normal, healthy breast tissue can be affected by radiation therapy, which can lead to complications following a reconstructive effort. As a result, waiting to perform breast reconstructive surgery after radiation treatment can help ensure the best reconstructive results. Patients who must wait to undergo reconstruction for several months following radiation treatment may be candidates for a tissue expansion or tissue flap reconstruction procedure.
In addition to these considerations, a woman with breast cancer would typically schedule her mastectomy with a general surgeon and choose a plastic surgeon to perform the breast reconstruction procedure. Patients in Tampa, St Petersburg, Clearwater, and other communities throughout Florida who are considering breast reconstructive surgery can eliminate the confusion of coordinating their oncology team and cosmetic surgeon by turning to Board Certified Dr. Daniel Greenwald of Bayshore Plastic Surgery. Dr. Greenwald was trained in both oncologic breast surgery and plastic and reconstructive surgery, which allows him to not only be a patient’s single source of information about surgical cancer removal and reconstruction options, but also to perform mastectomy and breast reconstructive surgery in one setting.