Exploring More Options After a Mastectomy
Mastectomies save lives. I won’t say a word against the procedure, nor against how increasingly common they are as a preventative measure. Breast cancer is a great danger, particularly for women, and mastectomies have saved countless lives at this point.
They are necessary, but they also leave a huge psychological problem for women who receive them. Everyone defines themselves partly by their body. It’s the reason we care so much about reaching our ideal weight, wearing clothes that make us look good, and knowing how others see us. It isn’t just vanity; it’s human.
So the results of a mastectomy can be at once a great relief and a return to health, while also leading to profound difficulties in recognizing and accepting the changes that have occurred.
There are many ways to deal with this, but increasingly, there’s a movement towards using breast reconstruction as a means of reestablishing the look women have always been accustomed to thinking of as natural.
There is an amazing number of reconstruction options for those who have had mastectomies. Most people don’t know much more about breast surgery than what they read about in magazines while waiting to see a doctor, but there are plenty of great ways that women can return to the look that makes them feel comfortable and happy in their bodies.
In particular, I want to talk here about the LD flap reconstruction. According to Bergman Folkers Plastic Surgery in Des Moines, this involves using skin from the upper back and a breast implant to create natural-looking breasts after a mastectomy.
Like all breast reconstruction surgeries, this is ideal for some women and may be a bad fit for others. Bergman Folkers identifies the positives and negatives of LD flap reconstruction this way:
- Less recovery time required
- Scars covered by bra straps
- More options for breast size, since the upper back skin can cover it
- A short surgery compared to some other options
- An ideal option for skinnier women who may not have the same skin and fat resources of other women (thus reducing the number of reconstruction options available)
- You’ll have to have implants, since there isn’t enough fatty tissue in that area. Thus, breasts won’t be quite as “natural” according to some standards
- There may be a noticeable weakening of the back muscles for those who engage in very strenuous exercise that involves the back (like rock climbing)
- There can be some modest complications from the process, including an awkward bulky area under the armpit (this usually goes away, though).
Obviously, this isn’t the best option for all women. Some women will choose to live with the natural results of their mastectomy. Some of these women are actively proud of their new look. Others will feel a different surgery is the best option for them.
Still, for many women out there, the LD flap reconstruction surgery may be just what they need to return to the look and confidence they used to have before these recent difficulties.