Breast cancer is an indescribably traumatic experience. Adding to the trauma is the fact that many women who recover from breast cancer only do so after receiving a mastectomy. All too often women feel insecure about their physical beauty or even their womanhood after receiving a mastectomy.
At the Canadian Plastic Surgery Centre we understand these feelings of insecurity and provide surgical assistance in helping women move past them through breast cancer reconstruction surgery. This procedure restores the patient’s breasts to a shape and size that is consistent with what they had before the discovery of the cancer. The surgery won’t remove the insecurities that our patients feel on its own, but it does provide a stepping stone to returning to the life they had before the discovery of the cancer.
Candidates for breast cancer reconstruction surgery are women in the Toronto area who have suffered from breast cancer and are in moderately good health. This surgery can restore breasts that have been removed due to mastectomy or have been damaged or discolored due to the cancer or the breast cancer treatment, including due to significant prolonged weight loss from chemotherapy.
The majority of our patients are women who have received a single or double mastectomy or have scarring due to surgery to remove the cancer. However, even if that doesn’t describe you, if you require reconstructive surgery due to breast cancer, this surgery is available for you.
Furthermore, candidates for this surgery should be aware that OHIP covers this procedure if you can get a referral from your doctor.
Every breast cancer reconstruction procedure is different because cancer and treatment affects women in different ways. In general, though, the following is performed in most reconstruction procedures:
Once the surgery is complete, your breasts will look and feel natural to others. And after a complete recovery, you should be comfortable wearing skimpy clothing and bathing suits in public settings.
Similar to breast augmentation surgery, breast cancer reconstruction has a moderately long recovery time. You should ensure that you have someone to assist you for a day or two after the surgery during which you will require bed rest. You need to avoid all but the lightest activities for the rest of the week and definitely should not return to work during the first week of recovery.
Once you can engage in light activities, be careful not to put too much stress on your chest or breasts and don’t wear constricting bras. Full recovery, including return to strenuous activities will likely take 4 – 6 weeks.
Furthermore, you should be aware that you will have some lines on your breast for the rest of your life. Dr. Chivers will minimize scarring, but some is inevitable.
As with all reconstructive techniques, your consultation for breast cancer reconstruction at the Canadian Plastic Surgery Centre is free. Dr. Chivers will examine your medical history and fully explain your surgical options as well as the expected results. If you have suffered from breast cancer, please schedule your consultation for this life affirming surgery that should help you fully recover from your ordeal.