As we approach breast cancer awareness month, we encourage women to educate themselves about the options available for breast reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy. Breast reconstructive plastic surgery after a mastectomy can renew your self-confidence and make you feel better about how you look. For women who have had the part, or all, of their breasts, removed, breast reconstructive surgery is an appropriate option.
Although the breasts, along with the areola, may be returned to their original size and shape by rebuilding the breast mound, the feeling in the breasts will not be restored. In order to rebuild the areola, tissue from another part of the body is taken, followed by tattooing to match the color of the nipple. In time, sensation and sensitivity of the skin will increase, but it will not feel the same as it did before.
It’s possible to match the reconstructed breast to the remaining breast through enlargement, reduction, implant, or lift. Your plastic surgeon will explain which reconstructive options are best for you based on your health, age, and body type.
Studies show that even after breast reconstructive plastic surgery, breast cancer does not recur. If in the rare case that cancer does return, reconstructed breasts should not interfere with medical treatments. Mammograms can be performed after breast reconstruction, although they are not generally needed after a full mastectomy.