Frequently Asked Questions
What is Breast Reconstruction?
Breast Reconstruction involves the reformation or reshaping of the breast after the mastectomy (removal of the partial or whole breast) or lumpectomy (removal of the tumor or abnormal tissue from the breast). There are two different types of Breast Reconstruction surgery:
- Breast implants or prosthetics
- Autologous or skin flap surgery
Breast implants consist of silicone or saline implants.
Autologous or skin flap method uses tissues from another area of the body.
What are the advantages of Breast Reconstruction?
The following are the advantages of Breast Reconstruction:
- Helps to reconstruct the breasts to its original shape and size after having a mastectomy.
- Evenly matches the asymmetrical breasts.
- Increases the volume and adds the desired curves to the breast which are naturally small in size.
- Provides fuller and firmer breasts.
What are the indications of Breast Reconstruction?
The following are the indications of Breast Reconstruction:
- For the reconstruction of the breast after a mastectomy (removal of the partial or whole breast)
- To enlarge the size of the breast for beauty purposes
- To correct the shape and size of the breast in congenital defects such as aplasia (failure of an organ to develop), dissymmetry (different shape and size), hypomastia (underdevelopment of breast tissue), hypoplasia (impaired development of an organ or a tissue)
What is the preparation for Breast Reconstruction?
The following are the preparation steps for Breast Reconstruction:
- Before undergoing this surgery, inform your doctor about your past medical history.
- Your surgeon will examine your breasts to know what type of breast implants suits for you.
- You may be asked to undergo certain blood tests before the surgery.
- Your breast may be photographed from various angles to compare it with the breast after completion of the surgery.
- Smoking will delay recovery. Hence, you are advised to quit smoking until you are completely recovered and also prior to the surgery.
- You will be asked to remove the jewelry and contact lens that you are wearing.
- Discuss all the benefits, complications and risks involved in the Breast Reconstruction with your doctor
- Before going to the operation theater, your surgeon will mark the areas on the breast just to confirm how much size and what shape do you need.
What are the steps involved in Breast Reconstruction?
The following are the steps involved in Breast Reconstruction surgery:
- The vital of the patient such as blood pressure, heartbeat, pulse rates, and respiration rate, etc are monitored throughout the surgery.
- Then the incisions are made over and surrounding the breast region by the surgeon. The length of the incision depends on the type of reconstruction needed by the patient.
- After making the incisions, silicone or saline breast implants are placed inside the breast. The implants can be placed either below the breast muscle or over the glands.
- Then, the implants were adjusted until the desired shape and size is achieved.
- After getting the desired size and shape of the breast, all the incisions made will be stitched.
What is the postprocedure care/recovery care for Breast Reconstruction?
The following are the post-care steps to be followed after the Breast Reconstruction:
- The patient may suffer from pain and swelling in the chest region. So, take the pain killers as prescribed by the doctor.
- Nausea and vomiting may occur. In such cases, take the anti-nausea medications which are prescribed by the doctor.
- Keep the chest area clean all the time to prevent any infections.
- Dressings of the implanted area should be removed by the doctor only.
- Prefer loose and comfortable clothes.
- Follow all the directions given by the doctor regarding the intake of the medications.
- Make follow-up appointments with the doctor.
- Avoid sex and intercourse for a period of about 3 to 4 weeks.
- Eat fruits like apple, banana, pineapple, and kiwi, etc to boost your immune system.
- You are advised to sleep on your back for several weeks and not on the stomach or sideways.
Who can perform Breast Reconstruction [Right specialist type for Breast Reconstruction]?
Breast Reconstruction can be performed by:
- An experienced plastic surgeon.
- A cosmetic surgeon who has performed several successful breast reconstructions.
Before choosing the right hospital and the surgeon, consider the reputation of the hospital and the experience of the surgeon.
What is the cost of Breast Reconstruction?
The cost of Breast Reconstruction in Bangalore may change according to:
- Admission fee
- Doctor fee
- Type of implant used
- Size of the implant
- Age of the patient
- The medical condition of the patient
- Post-surgical complications that are involved
- Type of hospital
- The admission room that you opted for
Minimum cost in Bangalore starts from Rs.40,000
Average expenses in Bangalore is approximately Rs.1,59,000
Maximum amount to be paid in Bangalore rises up to Rs.5,00,000
What is the eligibility criteria for Breast Reconstruction?
Eligible candidates for Breast Reconstruction are:
- Women who are healthy and over 18 years are eligible for Breast Reconstruction.
- Women whose age is over 22 years and healthy are the right candidates for silicone breast implants.
- Individuals who wanted to change their breast size and shape.
- Women who underwent a mastectomy.
- Women who did not get desired results after using other options like fat grafting, pills, and creams, etc.
What is the ineligibility criteria for Breast Reconstruction?
Ineligible candidates for Breast Reconstruction are:
- Individuals who get the desired results after the fat grafting method.
- Individuals age below 18 are not eligible for Breast Reconstruction and below 22 years are not allowed to undergo silicone breast implants.
- Individuals who are suffering from some serious health issues such as heart diseases and weak immune system.
What are the risks and complications associated with Breast Reconstruction?
Every surgery has its own risks, complications, and benefits. Some of the risks and complications associated with Breast Reconstruction are:
- Severe pain in the breast region
- Redness and swelling
- Skin rashes
- Swollen lymph nodes may be noticed
- Delay in the wound healing
- Uneven shape and size of the breast even after the surgery
- Hardening of the area of the breast surrounding the breast implants
- Change in the shape of the chest wall
- Rupture of the breast implant
- The implant may appear through the skin [extrusion]
- Infection at the site of incisions
- Misplacement of the implants
- Toxic shock syndrome may occur
- Loss of sensation in nipples and around the breast area where the implants were placed
- Disappointing presentation of the breast after implant due to the size and style of the breast implant
How long does it take to complete Breast Reconstruction?
Breast Reconstruction may take around 1-6 hours depending on the type of procedure.
What is the recovery time?
After the Breast Reconstruction, it may take around 6-8 weeks to return to normal activities. It may take several weeks to do strenuous exercise.
Is Breast Reconstruction safe?
Any surgery has its own risks, benefits, and safety concerns. If the breast implants are placed by an experienced surgeon, the complications and risks may decrease.
However, women with silicone implants were at high risk of developing rare side effects than women with other types of implants. So, before choosing a type of implant, consult your doctor and discuss.
Is Breast Reconstruction painful?
After Breast Reconstruction, there may be pain and discomfort in the breast or chest region. These signs will be present for about a few days after the surgery.
However, during the surgery, anesthesia will be given to numb the area or to sedate you so that no pain can be felt.
Is Breast Reconstruction permanent?
Breast Reconstruction is not permanent. Because breast implants are made for a temporary purpose and should be removed from the body after a few years. Otherwise, implants may rupture and can leak the contents into the chest region which may lead to loss of sensation in the nipples and may change the shape of the chest wall area.
What are the long-term results of Breast Reconstruction?
The following are the long-term results of Breast Reconstruction:
- After 5 years of Breast Reconstruction, the implants may rupture and leak the contents which are present inside the silicone shell.
- May cause permanent chest pain.
- May need to remove breast implants due to health problems.
- Can cause a rare type of immune system cancer.
- Results in uneven breast size and shape.
- Hardening of the surrounding area of the breast implant.
Can Breast Reconstruction be detected in future?
Breast Reconstruction can be detected in the future as it involves incisions and insertion of the implants.
Can Breast Reconstruction cause infertility?
There is no clear evidence that Breast Reconstruction can affect fertility. However, some studies suggested that Breast Reconstruction may cause other health-related problems.
What are the options if Breast Reconstruction fails?
If the breast implant is not successful then your doctor may recommend the following options.
- Removal of breast implants
- Removing the scar tissue surrounding the breast implant area
- Once again breast implant may be done to reshape the breast
What are the alternatives for Breast Reconstruction?
Alternatives to Breast Reconstruction for reshaping and resizing the breast are:
- Fat grafting
- Some pills and creams may increase the volume of breasts
The pills and creams are not regulated by the pharmaceutical companies and there is no guarantee that the usage of these pills and creams will increase the breast size.