The human body is remarkable and resilient, but the potential to contract serious disease remains a reality we all face. Cancer is one example where disease can be disfiguring, potentially resulting in the loss of a breast, so wide-ranging surgical solutions are needed, along with the right environment for post-operative care and recovery. The loss of a breast can lead to withdrawal from social life and disruption of regular activities, but astounding breast reconstruction surgery results can be achieved. With expert guidance and a highly-proficient surgeon, climbing the hill to recovery becomes much faster and easier.

The natural outcome of successful breast reconstruction, with or without breast implants, is symmetry of form and a return to positive self-perception. Women who have fought to recover from a mastectomy or other serious disease want to regain their former selves, within realistic boundaries, and look as good as they feel. Cairns Plastic Surgery provides a confidential and comprehensive approach to reconstructive surgery, and the team of leading plastic surgeons and highly-trained staff have expertise in every kind of breast reconstruction procedure.

Breast reconstruction suitability

There are various scenarios that lead to reconstruction surgery. In many cases, patients have a degree of control, making choices that reflect outcomes, such as the desired size and shape of synthetic breast implants. It’s important for patients to know that they are the priority, and breast reconstruction is a genuine step forward during a time of healing and recovery. Damage and scarring caused by a mastectomy or trauma injury can be tremendously minimised by a highly-qualified plastic surgeon using innovative, advanced and tailored solutions for optimum outcomes.

Advanced medical science used at Cairns Plastic Surgery facilitates precision restoration of natural looking breasts. Cancer is an illness that doesn’t truly seem defeated until all traces are gone, and for many women, a breast reconstruction is an essential component of complete recovery. Although there are limitations to restoring the exact feel and appearance of natural breasts, modern technology helps surgeons to blur the lines between reality and fantasy.

Breast reconstruction techniques

Plastic surgeons endeavour to satisfy patient desires, although it’s important to appreciate surgical limitations. After surgery, there will be visible incision scars, placed as discreetly as possible, that should fade markedly over time. Reconstructive surgical procedures work together for better overall results, and diverse operative procedures often take place simultaneously, such as tissue expansion and breast implants. In this procedure, healthy breast tissue is progressively expanded for several weeks prior to the implant being inserted, providing greater opportunity for the surgeon to conceal scars and create natural looking results.

In other situations, a tissue flap graft is used to rebuild breasts. Symmetry and shape of breasts can be restored, although there may be variations in skin texture and colour. The buttocks, abdomen or back are typical skin graft donor sites. For many women, additional procedures on the unaffected breast, such as a breast lift, breast reduction or breast augmentation will help to restore a balanced and more youthful appearance.

The nipple may be removed during a mastectomy as a precaution against cancer, and can be repositioned and reattached to create natural looking breasts. It can be preferable to wait until breast tissues have adequately healed so nipple repositioning can be performed along with other adjustments to breast size, shape and position.

Breast reconstruction surgery considerations

The journey toward breast reconstruction surgery is often arduous, although the surgery itself is one of the final recovery steps. After making progress for weeks, months or years, it’s heartening to think that breast reconstruction surgery usually only takes around six hours to complete, with initial recovery safely monitored in a hospital environment. To aid recovery, nutrients are administered to replenish the body, while drains placed at incision sites relieve the build-up of unwanted fluids.

There will be some initial discomfort but most patients can safely return home within a couple of days, or a little longer for patients undergoing a flap procedure. The helpful staff at Cairns Plastic Surgery are on hand to assist during every stage of consultation, procedure and recovery from breast reconstruction surgery. For the first few weeks of recovery, rest and relaxation is highly recommended, and regular activities can be progressively re-introduced during the following months.

As the breasts settle, numbness and tightness will diminish and increased feeling and sensation is likely to return. The shape of reconstructed breasts also improves during healing. Self-examination should be ongoing, especially for those who have previously suffered from cancer. With encouragement, patience and reassurance from loved ones, breast reconstruction surgery is a tremendous step toward rebuilding confidence, boosting self-esteem and recapturing physical ideals.