Immediate vs. Delayed Breast Reconstruction
Though immediate breast reconstruction is nearly always preferable, sometimes delayed treatment is necessary. It may be recommended for patients with especially complex cases. Other times, patients might not have had immediate reconstruction available at the time of their cancer treatment and are now interested in restoring their figure. Dr. Ravi Tandon can perform both immediate and delayed breast reconstructions at his practice in New Orleans, LA. It is important to discuss your options with your physician and Dr. Tandon. They can help you understand your candidacy for each approach and recommend whether immediate or delayed breast reconstruction is best for your needs.
Immediate Breast Reconstruction
An immediate reconstruction is performed at the same time as your mastectomy surgery. Dr. Tandon will coordinate with your breast cancer surgeon to create a streamlined treatment plan. Once the cancerous tissue is removed, Dr. Tandon will reconstruct your new breasts. He can use either an implant or your own tissue for a natural reconstruction.
Though immediate breast reconstruction is nearly always preferable, there are some cases where delayed treatment is necessary.
Undergoing breast reconstruction at the same time as your mastectomy reduces the number of surgeries you need. This method can offer a range of benefits, such as:
- Reduced long-term medical costs
- Less scarring
- Improved appearance
- Decreased emotional and social impact
In many cases, Dr. Tandon can better preserve the natural shape and size of the original breast with an immediate reconstruction. Better preserved breast skin can minimize the number of touch-up treatments you may need to achieve your final results.
Delayed Breast Reconstruction
With a delayed reconstruction, the procedure is performed at some point after a mastectomy as a separate procedure. Most often, delayed breast reconstructions are performed within six to 12 months of the original treatment. However, some women wait for many years in between their mastectomy and their reconstruction.
Since your mastectomy and reconstruction are performed at separate times, there are more procedures involved in the reconstruction process. The extended treatment time has some drawbacks, such as:
- Additional scarring
- Increased overall medical costs
- Longer total recovery time
If you need additional treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, your physician or Dr. Tandon may recommend waiting until those treatments are finished. While you can still continue with these treatments after an immediate reconstruction, they can affect the appearance of your reconstructed breast. In addition, complications with the reconstruction surgery can delay chemotherapy, so immediate reconstruction is not advised for patients who need to continue treatment quickly.
Dr. Tandon understands how emotional and stressful planning for a mastectomy can be. Many women are so overwhelmed by the approaching surgery that weighing another option seems impossible. Dr. Tandon and our team are here for you. We can explain the differences between immediate and delayed breast reconstruction and can work with your oncologist to find the best treatment for your needs. For more information about our reconstruction options, contact our office online or call us at (504) 455-1000 today.