BREAST CANCER, MASTECTOMY, & RECONSTRUCTION

As traumatic and life changing as dealing with Breast Cancer may be, the added issues of mastectomy and complicated breast reconstruction only makes matters worse. Women who have had Breast Cancer and undergo a mastectomy will most likely have a breast reconstruction. In cases where woman require radiation treatment as part of their course of cancer management, the breast reconstruction may be affected. Side effects of radiation treatment, specific to the skin and breast implant prosthesis may include:

  1. Skin hardness, scarring, and tightening.
  2. Limited Range Of Motion (ROM) of the arm on the side(s) that received radiation.
  3. Hardening of the breast implant prosthesis due to Capsular Contracture.
  4. Misshapen or oddly positioned breast appearance.
  5. Pain to breast, chest, and/or shoulder region.

Other issues related to mastectomy include sensitivity of the surgical incision due to changes in blood supply after a mastectomy and reconstruction. Blood supply to the breast that previously came from the front of the original breast tissue must now rely on blood supply from the back of the new reconstructed breast. This means that extra care must be taken to not aggravate the healing incision and extra time will be needed to become strong.