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You And Your Breasts
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All you wanted to know about your breasts but were afraid or embarrassed to ask.
Breasts are an essential and integral part of a woman’s body. The breast differs from other parts of the anatomy. It plays an important role in mothering and nourishing the young. This part of her body remains highly important to her as a connection to her womanhood/ femininity and sensuality.
Issues occurring with the breasts can be categorized into 5 types.
1. Congenital – or birth deformities where the breast and/or chest wall cage are underdeveloped.
2. Underdeveloped or small for size breasts.
3. Normal breasts with/ without age related changes.
4. Large/ massive breasts.
5. Cancer and its consequences.
Treatments in each of these conditions vary and have to be individualised. Remember “NO SINGLE KEY FITS ALL LOCKS”.
There are many methods of reconstructions that are performed according to the condition and requirement to correct the problems. Some need volume addition; some need volume removal while some need volume adjustment. Depending on the situation a detailed discussion and planning is required between the patient and doctor to arrive at the best possible result for the individual.
1. Am I the right candidate for the procedure?
Any woman above the age of 22 years otherwise healthy or investigated properly with realistic thoughts is right candidate for breast surgeries.
2. What are the different procedures normally done and what is right for me?
Breast implants, breast reduction, mastopexy (a procedure where the volume is ok but sagging is pronounced need to be corrected to give shape and size. Sometimes an implant has to be added to the procedure if volume is deficient).
3. Are implants safe?
There are a variety of implants available in the market. Please choose the right doctor who will use only approved implants. Never compromise on quality.
4. I’m not suffering from cancer. Can I undergo the procedure?
Breast reconstruction does not increase the risk of cancer. However you could discuss with your doctor and get investigated thoroughly before taking a decision.
5. I’m suffering from breast cancer. What do I discuss with my doctor with regard to breast reconstruction?
Ask your doctor details about the type of surgery and possibility of radiation. If you are in the early stages then procedures like lumpectomy, nipple sparing and skin sparing surgeries are possible which will greatly help in giving you a more natural and normal appearance.
6. I have a family history of cancer. Can I undergo breast corrective surgery?
Recent trend shows that many women after discussing with their oncologist/ oncosurgeon are undergoing prophylactic mastectomy and reconstruction. On the other hand one could have periodic checkups and go for reconstruction too.
7. I have cancer and am about to undergo treatment. What is the right time to undergo reconstruction?
Make sure you are aware of the type of surgery beforehand. However the plan might have to be altered depending on the condition and pathology report during the surgery. Also know your schedule of radiation and discuss with your plastic surgeon the different options to give you the best possible outcome.
8. I am presently undergoing treatment for cancer and am interested in undergoing breast reconstruction. When is the right time?
Without radiation corrective surgery can be taken up within 6-8 weeks. If you are undergoing radiation then reconstruction should be planned 3-6 months after completion of radiation.
9. Will radiation affect the outcome of my reconstruction?
In fact with the newer techniques done by us the ill effects of radiation on the skin and breast will improve dramatically and we are trying to extend this benefit for patients who are getting affected by radiation at other sites too.
10. I have had surgical removal (partial/ total) of my breast /s some time ago. Can I get reconstruction done?
Meticulous planning, compliance and patience are very important with patient, caretakers and the doctor to give optimum result.
11. Is it a one stage procedure?
We believe in giving the best outcome with an attempt to restore the loss in toto. Though every attempt is made to minimize the number of surgeries we do not make false promises or assurances. The end justifies the means.
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