Who is a Good Candidate For Breast Reconstruction?

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Breast Reconstruction is a brave and preventative step for women who decide to have a mastectomy or lumpectomy. In 2021, breast cancer emerged as the most prevalent cancer worldwide, constituting about 12% of all new global cancer cases. Studies indicate approximately one in eight women in the U.S. will face invasive breast cancer in their lifetime.

Women who have a high genetic risk of developing breast cancer over their lifetime often opt for preventive mastectomy. Among the various treatments available for breast cancer, mastectomy stands out as a frequent approach. This surgery involves surgically removing the entire breast gland tissue and sometimes requires removing the nipple areola complex.

Breast reconstruction is a good option for women interested in restoring their breast shape and contour after undergoing mastectomy or lumpectomy.

An Overview of Breast Reconstruction

Choosing to have breast reconstruction surgery is a significant decision and it may involve a series of staged procedures to achieve the final result. We recommend you understand all your options prior to making a decision for surgery.

Tucson Plastic Surgery offers all types of breast reconstruction, including implant and natural tissue options. A consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons, Dr. Mahabir or Dr. Kurtovic, is recommended to determine which option is best for you . They will review your history and goals, and help you make the best decision on which type of breast reconstruction procedure is best suited for you.

Ideal Breast Reconstruction Candidates

The best candidate for breast reconstruction surgery is a woman who is overall healthy and a non-smoker and is planning on mastectomy or lumpectomy for breast cancer treatment. Dr. Mahabir and Dr. Kurtovic usually perform breast reconstruction surgery during the same time as your oncologic procedure. Sometimes reconstruction is planned in a staged approached to allow patients to complete their cancer treatment such as chemotherapy and radiation first.

An ideal candidate for breast reconstruction is someone who:

  • Aims to restore breast size and shape
  • Abstains from smoking or commits to stopping as advised by the surgeon
  • Is overall healthy without major medical problems such as uncontrolled diabetes or heart disease
  • Is cancer-free
  • Has realistic expectations from the surgery

Patients with diabetes or heart disease face heightened risks during breast reconstruction surgery. Furthermore, they may be more susceptible to post-operative complications.

Choosing Your Breast Reconstruction Approach

Once you’ve decided to proceed with breast reconstruction, you must make several considerations as you discuss your options with Tucson Plastic Surgery specialists. Dr. Kurtovic and Dr. Mahabir will assess various factors to determine the best reconstruction for your situation. These factors encompass:

  • Your overall health, including healing-related aspects like smoking or diabetes
  • Your breast size
  • Breast cancer size and location
  • Potential need for additional cancer treatments beyond surgery
  • Single or double breast reconstructive surgery
  • Availability of tissue for reconstruction
  • Desire for balance with the unaffected breast
  • Recovery timeline preferences
  • Willingness for multiple surgeries during reconstruction
  • Consideration of how different reconstruction types might impact other body parts

Dr. Mahabir and Dr. Kurtovic will review your overall well-being and medical history and explain the reconstruction options best suited to you based on age, health, lifestyle, body type, goals, and more. It is essential to openly discuss your preferences and address any concerns or priorities for the procedure.

Contact Us Today

To learn more about breast reconstruction after a mastectomy, contact Tucson Plastic Surgery in Tucson, AZ to schedule your consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons.


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