Posted July 1, 2020 9:29 pm by

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer and it is the third leading cause of death from cancer. Most women diagnosed with breast cancer are likely to have surgery as a mode of treatment. A patient may have one, or both breasts removed (mastectomy) if there is a very high risk of cancer in the other breast due to genetics, or family history. After undergoing surgery, a patient might opt for breast reconstruction either immediately after the breast cancer surgery, or later.

Breast reconstruction surgery involves restoring the shape of a patient’s breast which was removed enabling women to feel “whole” again. Many women tend to suffer from low self-esteem, depression, or face stigmatization in the community, as a result of having a mastectomy, which is a surgery that involves removing the entire breast.

There are two broad types of breast reconstruction procedures for women who have undergone mastectomy. There is autologous reconstruction, which involves using one’s own body tissues or an implant based reconstruction, which involves using either silicon or saline based material for the reconstruction. Autologous reconstruction may involve using tissue from the back or from the abdomen.

The current standard of care for autologous reconstruction in many centers worldwide is the ‘Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator’ (DIEP) flap. A DIEP involves taking tissue from the patient’s abdomen and relocating it to create a new breast mound. Aga Khan University Hospital was the first Hospital in East and Central Africa to successfully do DIEP procedure recently which has now benefitted a number of patients.

The DIEP flap procedure is safe and recommended as an option for women seeking breast reconstruction after losing one breast, or both breasts, and in those who cannot have breast implants because they have previously been treated with radiation. A patient only requires one surgery and not more than a week in hospital, followed by a fairly short recovery period. As patient selection is key, a multi-disciplinary team with members from oncology, surgery, radiology and pathology will have met beforehand to discuss both the patient’s oncological care and surgical management options.

Before surgery, a team of health care specialists including a breast surgeon, plastic surgeon, anesthesiologist and nurse, review the patient’s medical history, and are present during the surgery

This technique involves a breast surgeon performing a specialized skin-sparing mastectomy that preserves a large skin envelope or a nipple-sparing mastectomy where appropriate, to preserve the nipple-areolar area, while Read More…Breast reconstruction technique boosts confidence in women after masectomy  Breast reconstruction technique boosts confidence in women after masectomy  Breast reconstruction technique boosts confidence in women after masectomy  Breast reconstruction technique boosts confidence in women after masectomy