Is It Time For Breast Reconstruction? How To Decide If It's Right For You

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Following a mastectomy, women are faced with the decision of whether or not they want to pursue breast reconstruction. While this may not seem like a significant decision, it's far more complex than you might think. If you're facing a mastectomy and considering the possibility of reconstruction, it's helpful to give careful thought to the process and whether or not it's really right for you. Here's a look at some things to think about when you're trying to decide whether or not you should get breast reconstruction.

Are You Concerned About Being Self-Conscious After Your Mastectomy?

If you are the type to be particularly uncomfortable about your body shape after a mastectomy, or if you're sure that having one breast removed is going to leave you feeling self-conscious, you should definitely talk with your doctor about reconstruction. The goal of your recovery, especially following breast cancer, is to remain as comfortable, relaxed, and stress-free as possible, and adding anxiety or discomfort about your physical appearance isn't going to help.

Would You Rather Have A Balanced Shape In Your Clothing?

For some women, the appearance after their mastectomy is no big deal. They aren't concerned about how a swimsuit looks or how their shirts and dresses fit. For others, a mastectomy can make their clothing feel uncomfortable, fit awkwardly, and appear unbalanced. If you're bothered by the way that your clothes fit, or you'd rather be able to wear a swimsuit with the top properly fitted, you should talk with your doctor about breast reconstruction.

Do You Know Which Type Of Reconstruction You Want?

Another thing to think about if you're trying to decide whether or not reconstruction is right for you is which type of reconstruction you would want. There are a few different methods for reconstruction, including prosthesis implants or flap reconstruction, which takes tissue from another part of your body to rebuild the breast. Both require recovery, but flap procedures typically require more recovery time than implants. Give careful thought to your lifestyle, the need for multiple procedures, and any other considerations as you make your choice.

Breast reconstruction is a valuable option for many women who undergo a mastectomy. You don't have to live with a sense of discomfort about your appearance if your mastectomy has altered your self-image. Instead, talk with your doctor about the possibility of breast reconstruction surgery to see if it might be the right solution for you. For more information on DIEP flap breast reconstruction procedures, contact a health professional.