Candidates for Breast Reconstruction
Multiple factors are taken into account before a patient is cleared for the breast reconstruction process. It is important that you seek the opinion of a good doctor and have the procedure performed at specialty clinics for the best results. There are a number of factors that determine whether a patient is a good candidate for the procedure.
Health of the patient: As with any surgery, it is vital that the patient is in good overall health. If a patient suffers from auto-immune diseases like scleroderma or has diabetes, the healing of wounds becomes problematic. There could be clotting disorders and bleeding disorders. Post-operative bleeding may not be controlled due to the medicines administered. In such cases, breast reconstruction surgery is not advised.
Smoking: A patient with a smoking habit has chances of facing more problems post breast reconstruction procedures. Nicotine from cigarettes constricts the blood vessels, causing minimal flow of blood to remaining tissue and breast skin. This in turn leads to greater problems in wound healing and infections, independent of the reconstruction involving the person’s own tissue or an implant. Alternatives to smoking like nicotine patches and gum also has nicotine and fares no better.
Nature of treatment: The priority is always treating the breast cancer. Reconstruction is only done when the treatment will not be affected. The list of breast cancer treatments includes lumpectomy or mastectomy, chemotherapy prior or after the surgery and radiation therapy post surgery. As wound healing is influenced by chemotherapy, the process is delayed for a period of six weeks. Breast reconstruction is significantly affected by radiation therapy. Wound healing is also delayed by radiation and cause skin to tighten and darken. Patients undergoing radiation therapy may suffer delay of many months of breast reconstruction surgery.
For people seeking more information regarding breast reconstruction, please contact Plastic Surgery Specialists NJ today. We are located in New Jersey and can be reached directly at 201.664.8000. We look forward to hearing from you soon.