Deciding how to approach your post-mastectomy journey can be overwhelming, but rest assured — you’ve got options. Whether choosing to get reconstructive surgery or breast prostheses, it’s important to know which option best fits your lifestyle and emotional needs.
Read on now to learn more about the pros and cons of reconstruction surgery versus breast prostheses.
Breast reconstruction surgery is a surgical procedure to rebuild the shape and look of breasts, commonly performed after a lumpectomy (partial removal of breast) or mastectomy (full removal of breast). Similar to breast implant surgery, reconstructive surgery increases the size of breast(s) by surgically inserting a saline or silicone implant beneath the skin.
Factors to Consider About Reconstructive Surgery:
- May need to wait until cancer treatment concludes
- Implants typically need to be replaced every 10-15 years
- Risks of infection and hardened scar tissue
- Entire process may take 3-6 months
Unlike reconstructive surgery, breast prostheses are an immediate solution to filling the gaps left behind after a lumpectomy or mastectomy. Breast prostheses are breast forms made to look like breasts. They can be worn either temporarily or permanently after surgery for both physical and mental health improvement in the patient.
Factors to Consider About Breast Prostheses:
- Can wear right after surgery
- Non-invasive, no additional surgery required
- Easy to replace as needed (e.g., change in size, signs of wear and tear)
- More precise fitting in size and shape
- A quick and easy way to fill the void left behind
- Prostheses may fit into a special pocket or attach directly onto skin
Getting surgery is a big decision. It’s an invasive procedure that requires both careful thought and deliberation since it can affect many physical and emotional factors. On the other hand, breast prostheses can be worn immediately to provide a temporary and/or permanent solution for post-mastectomy patients. It’s a safe and non-invasive way to help improve the physical and mental wounds left behind from mastectomy surgery.
Want to know more about breast prostheses? Make an appointment with a Certified Mastectomy Fitter today. They’re trained and experienced to help answer any questions you may have, and help provide emotional support you may not have known you needed.