After mastectomy or lumpectomy surgeries, it is not uncommon for women to feel unsatisfied with the physical appearance of their breasts. For years, breast reconstruction has been made available to patients, but with similarly unfulfilling results for some women. In recent years, however, advances in operation procedures and technology have made the surgery a more viable option to consider.

Silicone breast implant
Examining a silicone breast implant

1. Natural Balance

Major removal of cancerous cells in the breast results in noticeable change in size, sometimes in an uneven or disproportional manner. The most immediate benefit of breast reconstruction surgery is the restoration of a balanced and natural look for the breasts. By choosing reconstruction, women are able to regain original shape and size, including nipple reconstruction.

2. Multiple Options

Patients can choose between getting implants or undergoing a flap procedure (or a combination of both). These options can be discussed with a plastic surgeon who will make recommendations based on body shape and size, as well as other factors like age and health. Implants are a less complex procedure, requiring no skin grafts or augmentation of other areas of the body. However, implants are placed underneath the muscles in the chest, which can result in discomfort or symmastia, a condition in which causes pain in the muscles when involving motion. Flap breast reconstruction, on the other hand, can result in a more natural and look and feel, as it involves only organic tissue. However, this procedure involves grafting skin from the abdomen.

3. Advanced Surgery

While unlike implants, flap surgery can involve incisions into the muscles on the back, affecting motion. These days, however, flap reconstruction has advanced enough that they cause no muscle discomfort or compromise in range of motion. This makes the possibility of an extensive breast reconstruction more viable for women who lead athletic, active lives. On top of that, skin and fat grafts from the abdomen have similar effects as a tummy tuck.

4. Insurance Coverage

Fortunately, mastectomy surgery is covered by most health insurance plans. Under federal law, breast reconstruction after a mastectomy must also be covered by the same insurance plans. This options makes restorative surgery more available, so that more women can regain their natural and desired body despite financial constraints.