Who is a good candidate for breast reconstruction?

Who is a good candidate for breast reconstruction? | Jacob Bloom, MDBreast reconstruction cosmetic surgery is a major procedure. The patient should make a well-considered choice about the surgery as it involves multiple procedures over several months.

Therefore, the patient should evaluate all options to determine which one is most suitable for her unique needs.

The surgeon will provide detailed information to the patient to help them make a judicious choice. They will also evaluate her as a candidate for breast reconstruction surgery. Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Jacob Bloom provides breast reconstruction to patients in Chicago, IL, and surrounding locations.


Ideal Candidates

An ideal breast reconstruction surgery candidate is a woman who has had one or both breasts removed because of cancer and wishes to restore her breast appearance. The patient can undergo the breast reconstruction at the time of her mastectomy or at a later date.

It is vital for the patient to have realistic expectations from this plastic surgery. She must be cognizant of the fact that reconstruction cannot restore breasts that appear and feel similar to natural breasts.

Regardless, this reconstructive procedure can offer the patient significant physical and emotional benefits in the long-run.

However, every woman who has undergone mastectomy is not a good candidate for breast reconstruction surgery. An ideal candidate for this procedure is a woman who:

  • Seeking to restore the size and shape of her breasts
  • Does not smoke or is willing to discontinue smoking according to the surgeon’s instructions
  • Has coped well with cancer therapy and mastectomy
  • Is cancer-free
  • Does not have serious hypertension or diabetes
  • Has clarity on her goals and realistic expectations from the procedure.

Patients with heart disease or diabetes can experience increased risks during breast reconstruction surgery. On top of this, such patients also tend to be more prone to post-op complications.


Implant and Flap Reconstruction Candidates

Patients seeking reconstructive procedures such as DIEP flap, gluteal, dorsi, or latissimus techniques should be free of additional health problems that can impact their surgery.

These techniques involve taking tissue from various areas of the body to develop the new breast and are more invasive compared to the implant method of breast reconstruction.

The flap technique is usually recommended to patients who need the reconstruction of only one breast (unilateral breast reconstruction). The advantage of flap techniques is that it can match the appearance and feel of the natural breast in a better manner.

The implant technique may be more appropriate for older candidates as this method is less invasive as well as involves a shorter healing time. Women with inadequate availability of excess tissue may also find this technique more beneficial.

The implant technique offers bilateral patients with more symmetrical outcomes.

Breast reconstruction cosmetic surgery is only appropriate for women who are willing to devote significant time and effort in the preparation and recovery from this process. Cosmetic surgeon Dr. Jacob Bloom receives patients from Chicago, IL, and nearby areas for breast reconstruction.