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A woman has many options after a mastectomy – breast reconstruction surgery is one of them. There are good reasons why you may choose to not have breast reconstruction surgery. Perhaps you are not a good candidate for more surgery based on your health or cancer treatment. Maybe you don’t want more surgery. Perhaps you do not want to have breasts and prefer a flat chest. The reasons are numerous and highly personal.
Bedford Breast Center was created for women, by women; we walk with you through the entire breast cancer treatment process. Designed to provide state-of-the-art, individually tailored patient care in a warm, supportive environment, Bedford Breast Center partners with our patients to achieve the best outcomes, both medically and aesthetically. Contact our Beverly Hills medical center today to learn more.
Reasons to Have Breast Reconstruction
Every woman who has had a mastectomy has a different reason for choosing breast reconstruction. No matter what your personal reason might be, know there is no right or wrong decision.
Breast reconstruction is an intimate choice that should be made between a woman and her doctor, based on her health, treatment needs, and personal preference.
5 Reasons to Have Breast Reconstruction
- Look and feel more confident in a swimsuit or bra
- Ensure your clothes fit properly
- Restore your breast shape permanently
- Feel more comfortable and confident with your body
- Eliminate the need for an external prosthesis
When is the Best Time to Have Breast Reconstruction?
Depending on your health situation, treatment plan, or personal preference, you may choose to have immediate reconstruction at the same time as your breast cancer surgery, or delayed construction some time after your cancer treatment.
Immediate reconstruction can be an attractive option for women that want to awake from their breast cancer surgery with breasts intact. This approach allows for full results after a single surgery and recovery process. It is a viable choice for women who will not be undergoing additional treatment and are confident in their decision to move forward with reconstruction.
Delayed reconstruction can be a better choice for women who are unsure of how they want to proceed after breast cancer surgery. In some cases, the multitude of decisions during this challenging time can be overwhelming and a woman might prefer to take the process in steps. Some treatments can also interfere with reconstruction, making delayed reconstruction a safer option.
For example, radiation after breast cancer surgery can limit your options in breast reconstruction. Some women decide to wait until after their radiation treatments are over to undergo reconstruction surgery, as radiation can cause changes to the breast skin.
What Happens if You Don’t Get Reconstruction After a Mastectomy?
The option of no breast reconstruction or “going flat” with an aesthetic flat closure is becoming more common. A 2021 study found that the large majority of women that opted for no breast reconstruction (nearly 75%) were satisfied with their decision. However, of that number, nearly one-fourth said their doctor tried to talk them out of that choice, referred to as “flat denial.”
Those that experienced flat denial tended to be less satisfied with their choice to go flat over, indicating the way doctors approach this decision could impact how a woman feels about her decision over the long term.
Reasons women consider skipping breast reconstruction might include:
- Not wanting to have an implant in the chest
- Quicker, more comfortable recovery after breast cancer surgery
- Possible reduced risk of other health issues
- Determination that a breast mound was not a significant factor in body image
- Not wanting to have a secondary surgery to reconstruct the breast
- Not wanting a secondary surgical donor site for use to reconstruct the breast
Risks of Breast Reconstruction
The most common risk associated with breast reconstruction is a condition known as capsular contracture, which occurs when scar tissue forms around the implant. The result of capsular contracture can be a hard, deformed breast as the scar capsule tightens. The condition is treatable and can be reversed.
Other risks are similar to those you might encounter with any surgical procedure. The expert surgeons at Bedford Breast Center will take every step necessary to minimize risk and address potential complications as soon as possible to avoid more serious problems for our patients.
Contact our Medical Center to Find Out if Breast Reconstruction Surgery is Right For You
Bedford Breast Center is here to help you. Our medical center offers many services to support your breast health, including:
- Concierge care
- 3D Mammography
- Goldilocks mastectomy
- SWIM breast reconstruction
- Nipple-sparing mastectomy
- Ultrasound-guided biopsy
- No surgery lumpectomy
- Minimally invasive lumpectomy
- High-risk patient screening and counseling
The team at Bedford Breast Center are committed to serving you with compassion and support. Led by two of the most prestigious Beverly Hills and Los Angeles breast reconstruction surgeons, Leslie Mesmic, M.D. FACS and Heather Richardson, M.D. FACS.
Breast cancer is one of the hardest diagnoses to hear, but it is important to remember that you do have options. We are ready to walk that journey with you. To learn more, contact us at (310) 878-0999 today.