Breast Reconstruction – Malaysia – Patient’s Reviews
Many women who have a mastectomy—surgery to remove an entire breast to treat or prevent breast cancer—have the option of having more surgery to rebuild the shape of the removed breast.
One of patients says:
“I was really uncomfortable with the idea of my breast being removed and an implant, which is a foreign body, being put in, but this has been amazing,” she says. “Breast cancer does not have to mean you end up with big physical and emotional scars.”
The long-term prospects of living without a breast or part of one affects every woman differently. The choice for one woman won’t necessarily be right for another. It’s a personal decision, and it’s often not easy to make. We all know that, actress Angelina Jolie announced in the New York times, that she had had a double mastectomy in february 2013 after testing postive for breast and ovarian cancer. She also had a breast reconstructive surgery
What is breast Reconstruction?
Improvements in plastic surgery mean better results now than ever before, though. You can choose breast reconstruction using either breast implants or your own tissue. During reconstruction, a plastic surgeon creates a breast shape using an artificial implant (implant reconstruction), a flap of tissue from another place on your body (autologous reconstruction), or both.
WHEN TO DECIDE THAT YOU NEED Breast Reconstruction?
At Makeovervacations we understand that the breast cancer journey is filled with many emotions. This is why we want to ease your mind about your breast reconstruction decision.
Whether you’ve had a “simple” or “total” mastectomy, modified radical mastectomy, radical mastectomy, partial mastectomy, or a subcutaneous (nipple-sparing) mastectomy, or are considering a prophylactic mastectomy, you are probably a good candidate for our breakthrough, minimally invasive breast reconstruction technique.
Your breast surgeon and the breast plastic and reconstructive surgeon will help you decide which option is best for you:
- Simultaneous breast reconstruction – Women have the option to have immediate reconstruction of their breast(s) at the same time as their mastectomy. This is a reasonable option for patients who do not need breast irradiation.
- Staged breast reconstruction – Many women who require radiation therapy are advised to have staged breast reconstruction instead of simultaneous reconstruction. If radiation is done on a newly reconstructed breast, over time it can alter its cosmetic appearance, making an implant hard, painful, deformed, contracted or even exposed. It may also cause severe fibrosis or shrinkage of the fatty tissue that may have been used in rebuilding the breast.
A tissue expander will be inserted after mastectomy to keep the breast skin that was saved during the skin sparing mastectomyprocedure stretched and supple in preparation for the final reconstruction, which will be done several months after radiation is completed.
- Delayed breast reconstruction – A woman may opt for delayed reconstruction if a plastic surgeon was not involved after her mastectomy. Many women did not know their breast reconstruction options at the time of mastectomy. More and more they’re discovering that surgically recreating their breasts is possible and is required to be covered by insurance as a result of a federal law passed in 1998.
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ON WHAT BASIS DO PLASTIC SURGEONS DECIDE YOU ARE A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR Breast reconstruction?
- You are able to cope well with your diagnosis and treatment
- Enough skin and muscle must remain after mastectomy to cover the implant
- You do not have additional medical conditions or other illnesses that may impair healing
- You have a positive outlook and realistic goals for restoring your breast and body image
Also these are the ones that are NOT good candidates for breast reconstruction
Most women are candidates for the procedure. There are only 6 disqualifiers:
- Radiation therapy can damage a reconstructed breast, especially if it contains an implant. Therefore, if a woman knows she needs radiation therapy after mastectomy, that information may affect her decision.
- Unhealthy, or have medical problems making you unfit for surgery
Smokers have a poor capacity to regenerate tissue. We recommend that a patient stops smoking at least 2 months before the procedure and abstain from even a single whiff or puff throughout the process and for 3 months after. If she cannot comply, we cannot help her.
- Aspirin and Other Over-the-Counter Food Supplements and Vitamins That May Impair Blood Clotting
We have seen disastrous results when a patient has prolonged bleeding time from long-term use of Omega 3 fatty acids, ginkgo biloba, garlic, ginger, ginseng, vitamin E, herbal tea, and green tea to name a few. It is imperative that the patient stops aspirin, all vitamins, and all herbal supplements at least 2 weeks before the procedure.
- Not realistic about what to expect. It’s good to dream, but if you are imagining all types of unrealistic visions of how this will dramatically change your life, you may not be an ideal candidate.
- Emotionally unstable.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM Breast Reconstruction
- Increase fullness and projection of the breasts.
- Enlarge a naturally small breast, most commonly the result of heredity.
- Restore breast volume and/or shape lost following pregnancy, breastfeeding and/or weight loss.
- Improve moderate asymmetry of the breasts.
- Reconstruction after surgery to treat breast cancer (Mastectomy)
WHAT TO NOT EXPECT
- A reconstructed breast will not have the same sensation and feel as the breast it replaces.
- Visible incision lines will always be present on the breast, whether from reconstruction or mastectomy.
- Certain surgical techniques will leave incision lines at the donor site, commonly located in less exposed areas of the body such as the back, abdomen or buttocks.
- It is highly unlikely that the reconstructed breast will (1) produce milk, (2) respond to hormonal signals or (3) experience normal sensory perception
YOUR GOALS AND Breast CHARACTERISTICS WILL DEFINE THE APPROACH TO PROCEDURE
At times, concern for your health can overshadow the emotions that come with losing a breast. Living a long, cancer free life is the most important goal, but wanting to hold on to your femininity is just as essential to your well-being. If your surgeon recommends a mastectomy, in most cases you will have the option to choose whether to have immediate or delayed reconstruction. There is no absolute right or wrong choice, just which option best suits your needs.
You have to be aware during planning that the main ways of making a new breast shape include
- Removing the whole breast and the skin and then putting in an implant to gradually stretch the remaining skin and muscle
- Removing just the breast tissue, but leaving the skin, and putting in an implant (a skin sparing mastectomy)
- Reconstruction with your own living tissue taken from another part of your body
- A combination of your own tissue and an implant
However, it’s also vital to understand every case has it’s own approach and scenario. So it’s not accurate to compare what you read online with actual procedure. As it might only act as a generic reference.
PREPARING FOR Breast reconstruction SURGERY
These points need to be addressed with your surgeon prior to your breast reconstruction operation:
- How soon can I exercise after surgery?
- May I see pictures of previous patients’ results?
- How long will I need to be off work?
- What are my post-op restrictions and for how long?
- Approximately what will my final cup size be?
- Where will my incisions be placed?
- What surgical technique do you use?
- How soon may I shower after surgery?
- Choosing Your Implant: Saline vs silicone
NOTE: We require all of our patients to get medical clearance two weeks prior to surgery. An H&P (history and physical) and a CBC blood test are the minimum requirements for healthy adults. You should stop smoking and refrain from taking aspirin products one month prior to surgery.
This video gives you an A to Z of a personalized experience from a brave woman who dealt with breast cancer
A look at every step of a 4 year breast reconstruction journey from natural breasts through expanders, implants, problems, and a diep flap.
Breast Reconstruction PROCEDURE STEPS
Breast reconstruction with implants is a simple operation. It takes 2–3 hours and has a shorter recovery time than other types of reconstruction. After the surgery, you’ll spend about 2 to 3 hours in recovery before being transferred to a hospital room.
Implants may be suitable for you if you are:
- having both breasts reconstructed
- not fit for a longer operation.
Implants can be put in as a one-stage or two-stage operation.
- One-stage procedure – The surgeon puts a permanent implant under your chest muscle. If your chest muscle needs stretched they will use an expandable implant which they gradually inject saline into for a few weeks until the breast shape is the right size.
- Two-stage procedure (more common) – A temporary expandable implant is put in. Once the breast shape is the right size the surgeon takes the expander out and replaces it with a permanent silicone implant.
Breast Reconstruction RECOVERY – After Care
You’re likely to feel tired and sore for a week or 2 after implant surgery, and longer after flap procedures (which will leave you with 2 surgical wounds). Your doctor will give you medicines to control pain and other discomfort.
Depending on the type of surgery, you should go home from the hospital in 1 to 6 days. You may be discharged with one or more drains in place. A drain is a small tube that’s put in the wound to remove extra fluid from the surgery site while it heals. In most cases, fluid drains into a little hollow ball that you’ll learn to empty before you leave the hospital. Follow your doctor’s instructions on wound and drain care. Also be sure to ask what kind of support garments you should wear. If you have any concerns or questions, call your doctor.
Common Supplies for after surgery:
1. Prescribed pain medication
3. Ice packs
4. Surgical bras – you will need at least 2-3 of these. Make sure you wear the bras 24/7 for the first few months. It will help in shaping your new breasts. Only remove to shower and then back on with a clean bra. They are very comfortable and you will be glad to have them.
5. Palmer’s Vitamin E Skin Therapy Oil. To start using two weeks after surgery. This will help smooth and heal your scars. Massage them 2-3 times a day for months and your scars will be nearly invisible.
6. Healthy protein, fruits and veggies. You need a healthy diet for proper healing. Also drink your water….
NOTE: Normally, you are seen by the doctor or nurse within 2-3 days of surgery. Then the most important visit would be after 1 week. As you will be provided with complete instructions on how to takecare of your implant for the first month. Of course, if there is a need, you’ll be asked for more visits.
The Right Garments for Post-care
Most women will wear the surgical bra until the first shower on the second postoperative day. This bra may be washed at this time and replaced or you may substitute any comfortable bra without an underwire. The most appropriate garments are sports bras that have a front closure and wide straps.
Some women feel better with a lot of support, some prefer minimal structure to the bra. There are as many bras as there are body types and sometimes you may need to try several before you find the right fit.
Do not plan on spending a lot on these first stage bras, the appropriate size will change as the breasts heal and swelling decreases. Because a lift often does not alter the size of the breast you may be able to fit in the bras that you already own.
PRECONDITIONS AND RISKS – Breast reconstruction SURGERY
We minimize risks and complications of breast reconstruction surgery by selecting patients carefully and always having the most skilled surgeons, physicians and nurses carry out procedures. However, despite the highest standards, complications can occur. They are rare, and most patients will not have complications, but if you have concerns about possible complications, please discuss these with your doctor.
You are at increased risk of complications if you have diabetes, poor circulation, heart, lung or liver disease, smoke, have a family history of blood clots, take certain medications, etc. You must disclose all these conditions to the surgeon before booking your breast reconstruction surgery.
Things not to do in the first 2 weeks
There are some things you should try to avoid doing during the first 2 weeks after surgery. Your surgeon may suggest slightly different timings so check if you are unsure.
- Don’t lift your arm above the height of your shoulder or stretch behind your back
- Don’t lift anything heavier than a bag of sugar
You might not realise that some everyday things can strain your muscles. Avoid doing any of the following with your arm on the side of your surgery.
- Pushing yourself up off the bed
- Pushing doors open
- Pulling washing out of the washing machine
Avoiding these things helps your muscles to slowly stretch and heal.
Note: Our registered nursing staff will monitor you in the post-anesthesia recovery area after your surgery. Your doctor will allow you to go home after the effects of anesthesia have worn off, accompanied by our MV dedicated helper for you.
THE LESS COMMON (rare) COMPLICATIONS OF Breast Reconstruction SURGERY INCLUDES:
All surgical procedures carry some risk. Possible complications from a breast reconstruction include:
The largest risk is for poor scar. The scar can become thick or wide. Rarely the wound will not heal immediately. You can also have infections, asymmetry, poor nipple position, unusual or decreased sensation or recurrence of the droop. The risks are significantly increased in smokers. Therefore, most Plastic Surgeons will not do this surgery until you stop smoking.
These all may sound scary, but complications are rare. Our surgeons can answer any questions you may have about the risks and can put them in perspective to ease your mind or help you decide not to proceed with surgery.
Your decision to have breast augmentation is a personal one, something you have done for yourself. If the surgery has met your expectations, that’s all that matters
Do Breast reconstruction Give Long-Lasting Results?
To answer this question, you have to consider how breasts change over time. Weight gain adds a lot of excess tissue to the breasts; Thus, to predict how long-lasting your results will be, normally surgeons will tell you it generally lasts for lifetime. But you have to know any major weight gain – or weight loss in the future might affect how it looks later on.
Patient’s experience with Breast reconstruction (Post Operation)
RECOMMENDED STAY – Breast Reconstruction SURGERY
The recommended stay in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for breast reconstruction surgery is 21 days on average.
Recovery time after breast reconstruction after a mastectomy depends on the reconstruction technique and each case.
For implant base breast reconstruction – stage 1 involves placement of a tissue expander and alloderm after mastectomy – Normally the patient stays in the hospital for 1 to 2 days for this stage1. All the surgical sites should heal and the drains removed by week 3. Patient should be able to
Breast Reconstruction COST IN MALAYSIA
(Note: this is an indicative price it can be subjected to minor changes)
A Word From Heart
Whatever your age, relationship status, sexual activity, or orientation, you can’t predict how you will react to losing a breast. It’s normal to feel anxious, uncertain, sad, and mournful about giving up a part of your body that was one of the hallmarks of becoming a woman: a significant part of your sexuality, what made you look good in clothes, how you might have fed your babies. No one can ever take that away from you. Moving forward, you now have the opportunity to determine what you want to have happen next. But first you must do some careful thinking and delving into your feelings in order to figure out what is best for you.
I AM INTERESTED! WHAT DO I DO NEXT?
If you are considering a breast reconstruction we encourage you to contact us to schedule a consultation and/or treatment at Makeovervacations office. During this visit we will listen to your concerns and discuss your options. After careful analysis, we will tell you whether you are a suitable candidate for this procedure and inform you of the alternatives and potential risks of the procedure.
You are most welcomed to ask us directly