Previously, I discussed some of the benefits of immediate breast reconstruction following a mastectomy. However, delayed reconstruction has its advantages as well. In delayed breast reconstruction, the patient can wait however long she wants before undergoing reconstruction surgery. While many of my patients choose immediate reconstruction, others prefer to wait until they feel the time is right, an option that also offers a few clear benefits.
1. Puts Immediate Focus on Prioritizing Health
Breast cancer treatment can be both physically and emotionally overwhelming. Delaying breast reconstruction surgery until after you’ve healed from your mastectomy and taken some time to recover mentally allows you to prioritize health and psychological wellbeing before thinking about cosmetic appearance. This is an important distinction for many women.
2. Allows More Time to Make Reconstruction Decisions
During what is already a stressful experience, you may not feel equipped to decide whether you want to undergo reconstructive breast surgery in the first place, let alone start researching which option for breast reconstruction and surgeon to choose. When my patients seem uncertain about making these important decisions, I urge them to take the time they need to thoughtfully consider their options, with or without my guidance, before moving forward.
3. Reduces Potential Radiation Risks on Aesthetics
Many patients who undergo immediate reconstruction are required to follow their surgery with several weeks of radiation therapy to ensure that their cancer is fully treated. By waiting until you’re healed from your mastectomy, the risk of these radiation treatments negatively impacting your final cosmetic results can be mitigated.