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Overview What's breast surgery? Breast surgery is a procedure performed on a female or male’s breast(s). There are different types of breast surgeries. Some are performed for medical reasons such as cancer, others for cosmetic reasons (plastic surgery). Examples include: Medical reasons: (lumpectomy, mastectomy). Either part or all of the breast and possibly the nearby lymph nodes are removed to get rid of the cancer.
Some non-cancer breast lumps may need to be removed. The breast size is decreased. (Note that this may also be performed for cosmetic reasons.) Cosmetic reasons: What conditions are treated with breast surgery? When is breast surgery necessary? There are medical reasons for needing breast surgery, such as breast cancer, non-cancerous breast lumps and breast reduction surgery to help get rid of back pain.
How often are breast surgeries performed? Breast surgeries are common. Is breast surgery outpatient or inpatient? The answer depends on what type of procedure you’re having: Surgery for breast cancer, breast augmentation and breast reduction surgery can be either inpatient or outpatient, depending. Most lumpectomies are outpatient. Most mastectomies require an overnight stay at the hospital.
Do males have breast surgery? Yes. Some men have a condition called gynecomastia where their breasts are large, and they choose to have for this condition. Men can also develop breast cancer, and the cancer is removed with surgery. Procedure Details What happens before breast surgery? You’ll have a consultation with your surgeon before any medical or cosmetic procedure.
Stop smoking and using any type of nicotine. Avoid drugs like Aspirin that can interfere with bleeding. Stop taking recreational drugs. Take vitamins, if recommended. The consultation is also the time for you to ask your surgeon questions. For example: Are you certified by a board-certified surgeon? How many years of training do you have? How long will my recovery period be? What are the risks and possible side effects? Will I need more operations in the future? Will I still be able to breastfeed? How will my breasts look over time? What can I do if I don’t like the outcome of my surgery? Before a breast augmentation, breast reduction, or breast reconstruction, your healthcare provider will: .
You’ll want to see before and after images. Before breast surgery for cancer, your healthcare provider will: This will determine the surgery type: lumpectomy or mastectomy. How long does breast surgery last? The length of the procedure depends on the type of breast surgery. Lumpectomy, for example, takes about one to two hours.
What happens during breast surgery? Breast surgeries are very complicated, but the steps are simplified here with two examples: breast augmentation surgery and breast reduction surgery. There are five steps in a breast augmentation surgery: . Intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. The location of the incision depends on the type of breast implant, how much larger you wish to be and your surgeon’s recommendation.
. The implant will be inserted either under the pectoral muscle or directly behind the breast tissue, which is over the pectoral muscle. Your surgeon will discuss the options to figure out the best one for you. The incision is closed using layered sutures in the tissue, and then surgical tape or a skin adhesive (glue) to close the skin.
You will be able to see the results of your surgery as soon as you wake up. There are five steps in a breast reduction surgery: General anesthesia. It will be around your nipple, then downward below your breast. Extra skin, tissue and fat are removed. Your nipple will be relocated to a more ideal location.
Dressings will be applied. If there has been some trauma to the breasts or specifically the nipple, or if you want to change its appearance, breast reconstruction surgery might be the best option. Unfortunately, this won’t cure an inability to breastfeed or feel sensation on the nipple. The reconstruction is done using implants or using your tissues such as part of your abdominal wall.
You may get a prescription for pain medication. Risks / Benefits What are the risks of breast surgery? All surgeries have risks, and breast surgery is no different. Possible risks include, but are not limited to: Anesthesia. Bleeding. Infection. Changes in nipple or breast sensation. Scarring. Implant leakage or rupture.
Needing revision surgery. A warning if you have breast augmentation surgery: breast implants can prevent the detection of cancer. Breast cancer is a serious condition. Also, note that breast implants may not last your entire lifetime. You may have to have surgery in the future. Weight loss, pregnancy and menopause can also change the shape of your breasts.
Typically, if you have breast augmentation, your pain shouldn’t last more than one to five days, although there may be some soreness and swelling for as long as a few weeks. After breast cancer surgery the area may be bruised. There may be numbness or tingling all over, including your upper arm and armpit.
When you’re allowed to, put vitamin E lotion or pure lanolin on the incisions to help with scarring. Recovery and Outlook What is the prognosis (outlook) after breast surgery? In the future, you might need to have more breast surgeries. The reason could be there’s more cancer, or because implants need to be replaced.
Talk with your healthcare provider about any personal risks. The recovery time is generally between one week and six weeks or longer and depends on the type of breast surgery you are having. After a lumpectomy, you may return to work after around two weeks. After a mastectomy, this will be longer, between four to six weeks.
You may be sore for weeks after breast surgery. It is important to discuss recovery time with your healthcare provider as this will depend on your case. How should I care for myself once I’m home? You’ll have several tasks at home no matter what type of breast surgery you have.
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