When undergoing reconstruction after mastectomy surgeons will tell their patients (and include this in the informed consent document that must be signed) that optimal results often require several surgeries. Each of these follow-up surgeries is often called a breast revision.
Breast revision fits into the theme of our Tattooed Nipples blog—finishing our reconstructions—because it is an integral part of the completion process. Some complications, like infection or deflation, force the decision for revision surgery, but most times it is an elective (optional) decision that needs to be made.
Roadblock to Completion
Elective breast revision is yet another hurdle along the path towards completing our reconstruction. It blocks our way towards nipple reconstruction and/or areola tattooing because the size and shape of the breast mound must be finalized before placement of the nipple can accurately be determined.
Let’s face it, though, who wants to undergo another surgery? Even though insurance will usually cover breast revision (since it is a medically-recognized need to achieve optimal reconstruction results), it is just easier to settle for sub-par results. Some of the imperfections that many of us decide to accept include:
- asymmetry (a difference in the size and shape of the breasts)
- hollow or concave areas in chest or a sunken cavity
- capsular contracture (scar tissue creates a tight capsule around an implant that causes pain and hardness)
- shifting of an implant, creating a lopsided look
- incorrect size of an implant, leading to concave areas
- scar tissue contracture that causes pain and indentations.
Selling Ourselves Short
Why do so many women stop short and live with these sub-par results? We get busy, and we are just tired of procedures. We fear another surgery. We do not have the time to take off from work. We are caregivers for other loved ones. There are so many understandable obstacles that block our way.
Let’s encourage each other to move forward in our reconstruction. We deserve optimal results, and we need to stay focused on finishing the process. Have you needed revision? Are you happy that you pushed yourself to forge ahead with additional surgeries?
Tell us your story…encourage us…