Breast reconstruction improves well-being after breast cancer
Results may be helpful for cancer survivors of breast that are considering breast reconstruction.
Breast reconstruction enables the recovery of self-esteem
The breast is one of the symbols of the female identity. Its extraction to treat breast cancer means a lot, both physically and psychologically for the woman. Therefore, its reconstruction is of paramount importance for the patient to regain self-esteem, thus helping to treat cancer and reestablish social life.
In patients undergoing mastectomy, the major goal of reconstructive surgery is aesthetic rehabilitation, removing the stigma of cancer and mutilation from the patient. The return to the pre-cancer physical condition is fundamental in this process and the morbidity of the withdrawal of the musculature is not negligible. Microsurgery and perforating flaps are another option for women who are mastectomized by less aggression to the abdominal wall and by a more early return to normal preoperative activities. The balance between these advantages and the risks inherent in the complexity of the procedure should be considered, thus offering the best treatment and rehabilitation option.
The type of surgery for breast reconstruction varies according to the size and location of the tumor the biotype of the patient and the volume of the breast. Patients lean and with small contralateral breast present better conditions for breast reconstruction with skin expander and posterior placement of silicone prosthesis. In obese women or with a large contralateral breast, the reconstruction can be done with dilator and silicone prosthesis of greater volume or with tissues of the abdomen or the back, with or without prosthesis.
Much of the reconstructive surgeries are performed simultaneously to the withdrawal of the cancerous tumor. In this way, the length of hospitalization is reduced and social rehabilitation is benefited. When the reconstruction is immediate, the patient need not live with partial or total mutilation of the breast, the mastectomy. The experience becomes less traumatic.
Reconstruction of the areola and nipple
The areola and nipple are also often removed during mastectomy. Its reconstruction usually takes place 2 to 3 months after the breast is rebuilt. The reconstruction of the nipple is most often done with part of the nipple of the other breast, cartilage of the ear or with the skin of the reconstructed breast itself. The choice will depend on the size of the contralateral nipple and local skin conditions. The areola is usually rebuilt from the skin located in the inner thighs, which has large amount of melanin or through tattooing. It is up to the plastic surgeon to evaluate the skin conditions and the technique used to reconstruct the nipple and areola.
Breast reconstruction surgery is provided by the Unified Health System, SUS, since 1999> . Covered procedures include the implantation of the silicone prosthesis. Supplementary health also provides for breast reconstructive plastic surgery after treatment for cancer withdrawal for contracts concluded after 1998.
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