Prior to undergoing breast reconstruction surgery, you may find yourself with many concerns. Will my reconstructed breasts look and feel natural? What technique is right for me? How long will my recovery period be? No matter how much time you devote to preparing mentally and physically for your surgery, you may still have questions. Here is a closer look at what you can expect after your customized breast reconstruction with Dr. Stephanie Teotia.
1. Prepare for Emotional Highs and Lows
It is typical for plastic surgery patients to feel a wide range of emotions during their recovery process. Choosing to surgically alter any aspect of your appearance can bring a renewed sense of self and relief about how much better you look and feel. However, healing from breast reconstruction surgery can be an especially poignant time.
Many breast cancer survivors who have undergone a mastectomy or similar treatment feel less feminine and sensual as a result. Breast reconstruction can restore these aspects of your identity, but you will need to give yourself time and space to experience the full range of feelings that might result from this procedure. It may take time for you to accept your new breasts as part of your body. As part of your recovery process, you may find it helpful to work with a counselor or reach out to other women who have had breast reconstruction.
2. You May Need a Follow-Up Procedure to Restore Your Nipples
If your mastectomy surgeon removed one or both of your nipples, you can choose to have a follow-up procedure to recreate your nipples and areolas. While this is not medically necessary, Dr. Teotia often recommends it to women who want their newly reconstructed breasts to look more natural. If you wish, Dr. Teotia can build your new nipples and areolas using donor tissue from elsewhere on your body. You could also opt for a tattoo, which is a slightly less invasive solution that creates a three-dimensional nipple appearance. Dr. Teotia may suggest waiting until your breasts have fully healed from your initial reconstruction to have these outpatient procedures.
3. You Might Have Numbness
Some loss of sensation is a common side effect of mastectomy and breast reconstruction surgery. This happens when nerves get severed when the surgeon removes the breast tissue. Many women report their reconstructed breasts still have lingering numbness even years after their recovery. If this is a concern for you, talking with Dr. Teotia about what to expect might provide you with a greater sense of control over the road ahead. Be sure to contact us anytime if you notice any issues or troubling symptoms after your surgery.
4. If Your Breast Reconstruction Involves Implants, You Might Eventually Need a Replacement
Modern breast implants are safe, long-lasting devices, but they are generally not permanent. If you have an implant-based breast reconstruction surgery, you might eventually wish to have your implants replaced if you decide to change your breasts’ size or shape. It is also possible (while rare) for complications to arise with breast implants, such as capsular contracture or an implant leak or rupture. The FDA recommends women with silicone-filled implants get a breast MRI three years after they receive their implants, and every two years after that, to search for signs of ruptures.
The Best Breast Reconstruction Surgeon in Dallas
As a woman, Dr. Teotia understands that your breasts can play a crucial role in your femininity and individuality. If you live in the greater Dallas region and want to learn more about breast reconstruction surgery, please reach out to Dr. Teotia and her welcoming, all-female team to schedule your consultation today.