It should go without saying that the top priority is always going to be to treat the cancer first, to try to cure the patient. However, treatment decisions early on in the process often determine the physical results the patient has to live with for the rest of her life.
If you think you may be interested in reconstruction, it is very important to see a breast reconstruction surgeon before any breast cancer surgery is scheduled. Of course this needs to be in a timely manner so as not to delay your cancer care. This is the only way to ensure you are truly involved in your treatment plan.
Seeing a reconstruction specialist very early on also allows patients interested in immediate breast reconstruction, (reconstruction performed at the same time as the mastectomy), to pursue it if they are candidates. Immediate reconstruction typically provides the best results and avoids the experience of living without a breast. For those who are not candidates, knowing they will have the option of reconstructive surgery once all their other breast cancer treatment is completed, (known as "delayed reconstruction"), is often a huge source of strength and relief.
Learn more about the differences between immediate and delayed breast reconstruction here.
I hope this info helps!
Dr Chrysopoulo is a breast reconstruction surgeon in San Antonio, TX, specializing in the DIEP flap and other state-of-the-art breast reconstruction procedures. In-Network for most US insurance plans. Patients are welcomed from across and outside the US. Please call (800) 692-5565 or email patientadvocate@PRMAplasticsurgery.com to learn more about your breast reconstruction options. Connect with others touched by breast cancer on Facebook.