Did you know breast reconstruction can be performed at any time, even years after a mastectomy?
"Immediate breast reconstruction" is performed at the same time as the mastectomy and typically provides the most natural results with the least amount of scarring. Unfortunately, for many women this simply isn't an option....
For starters, 70% of women facing mastectomy aren't even told that reconstruction may be an option for them. They undergo surgery only to find out some time later that they could have woken up from their mastectomy with new breasts instead of having to experience a flat chest.
Of the women that are informed, some may not have access to a reconstructive plastic surgeon where they live and have to travel for reconstruction.
Other women are not candidates for immediate reconstruction because unfortunately the disease is too advanced at the time of diagnosis.
Sometimes radiation therapy is recommended as part of the breast cancer treatment. Most plastic surgeons prefer to hold off on reconstruction until the patient is several months out from her last radiation therapy. This allows the tissues to recover and soften up as much as possible to improve the results of the subsequent reconstruction.
As you can see, there are several reasons why a women wanting breast reconstruction may not be able to have it straight away, ideally at the same time as the mastectomy.
Whatever the reason for delay may be, it is important to remember there is no time limit when it comes to breast reconstruction - it can be performed at any time, even years after mastectomy.
Like immediate reconstruction, delayed breast reconstruction is also covered by insurance regardless of how many years have passed since the breast cancer diagnosis.