What you need to know about:

Breast Reconstruction

Fast Fact

91%
Worth It Rating
Average Cost:
$8,000
Recovery Period:
6 to 8 weeks
Permanence:
10 to 20 years
177
Doctors
Time it takes:
1 to 6 hours
96
Hospitals & Clinics
Reviews
Anesthetize:
General anesthesia

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Overview of

Breast Reconstruction

in Thailand

Women who’ve had to undergo surgery for breast cancer may opt to get additional procedures performed in order to reshape the contour and appearance of the breasts. Alongside an improved appearance, breast reconstruction has also positively affected the quality of life for many mastectomy patients. Increasing developments in medical equipment and techniques have allowed surgeons to recreate breasts that are very similar to natural breasts in terms of their structure and appearance.

Goals of

Breast Reconstruction

For breast cancer patients or those with a high likelihood of developing the condition, a mastectomy is often performed which involves the complete removal of breast tissue. Mastectomies come in two forms and may be:

  • Unilateral, where one breast is removed
  • Bilateral, where both breasts are removed

There are many reasons why women may opt to undergo breast reconstruction:

  • To balance out an uneven chest area so that clothing pieces fit better; chest unevenness is especially noticeable when wearing a bra or swimsuit
  • To regain the natural breast shape through permanent means
  • To be able to wear a bra without having to use external breast prostheses (also known as breast forms)
  • To basically just feel good about themselves and their body

Price of

Breast Reconstruction

in Thailand

Average Cost

$8,000

Price Range

$3,000 to $13,000

Pros and cons of

Breast Reconstruction

Pros

  • Breast reconstruction provides a way to permanently eliminate any reminders of your experience with breast cancer and mastectomy.
  • You won’t have to constantly use external breast prostheses any longer.
  • The results from the procedure can help make you feel a lot better about your appearance and more confident in your sexuality.

Cons

  • Breast reconstruction may require you to undergo extra surgical procedures, thus resulting in more medical appointments and additional costs.
  • The procedure may induce undesirable reactions in your body which could interfere with its natural state.
  • A reconstructed breast will never look and feel exactly the same as the breast that was originally removed.

How it works:

Breast Reconstruction

The procedure works to surgically rebuild the appearance of breasts and is specially designed for women who’ve had a mastectomy performed as a treatment for breast cancer. It can be carried out right after a mastectomy, so the patient is able to immediately have a reconstructed breast in place. Reconstruction involves restoring breast contour, as well as the nipple and areola if required. There are various approaches to breast reconstruction, such as:

-   Implants: In this approach, implants made of silicone or saline will be inserted just below the skin or muscle to replace the breast tissue that was formerly present. This procedure often involves two stages:

o   First stage: A tissue expander is placed just below the breast skin that is still present, or the pectoralis muscles. This acts as an impermanent implant that works to progressively stretch whatever tissue still remains after mastectomy. After the patient has undergone the complete healing process post-surgery, sterile saline (salt water) will be injected into the expander every week. This causes it to enlarge, which forces the overlapping skin and muscle to stretch until the breast grows to a size that the patient is comfortable with.

o   Second stage: Once all tissues have healed and sufficient saline has been injected into the expander, the surgeon will finally move on to the second stage which involves the insertion of the implants. The expander will be removed and replaced with a saline or silicone implant, which typically involves reopening the scar that was originally present. As such, no new scars will be left on the chest. There are certain instances where the tissue expander is not inserted at all and instead, a saline or silicone implant is placed permanently in conjunction with mastectomy.

 

-   Skin flap surgery: This is a highly complex surgical procedure wherein the breast is rebuilt from tissue that is taken from a different area of the body (usually the abdomen) and transferred to the chest. Apart from the abdomen, the tissue can also be taken from the back, thighs, or buttocks. There are two approaches to skin flap surgery:

o   Free flap surgery: In this approach, the tissue, as well as the blood vessels providing its circulation, are completely removed to be transferred to the breast. The tissue’s blood vessels are stitched into the chest’s blood vessels at the surgical site. As these structures are very tiny, a microscope will be used for stitching in a process known as microsurgery.

o Pedicle flap surgery: Compared to its free flap counterpart, pedicle flap surgery does not involve the complete removal of the tissue and its blood vessels. In this approach, the tissue will still be attached to the body (usually the abdomen or back) but will now be rotated into the chest to aid in breast formation. It takes about one to five hours for this procedure to be completed, in addition to mastectomy. The patient will typically be under general anesthesia for the actual operation, while only local anesthesia is required for any follow-up sessions.

Preparation before

Breast Reconstruction

Pre - treatment

You will be given proper instructions by your surgeon as to how to prepare for breast reconstruction surgery. These may require you to:

  • Schedule some lab tests or undergo a medical evaluation
  • Discontinue smoking
  • Take certain prescribed medications, or make some changes to the medicines you are currently taking
  • Discontinue aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs, as well as any herbal supplements/pills to prevent the risk of bleeding

Recovery after

Breast Reconstruction

Post - treatment

  • Gauze or bandages may be applied to protect your incisions after breast reconstruction surgery.
  • To help lessen any swelling and provide support to the reconstructed breast, a support bra or elastic bandage will need to be worn.
  • For excess blood or fluid drainage, a non-permanent small, fine tube may be placed beneath the skin.

You will be provided with instructions that detail:

  • How to properly care for the treated sites
  • Any topical or oral medications that need to be taken for speedy, healthy healing and recovery
  • Any concerns that should be identified with your surgeon regarding the treated sites or your health in general
  • Whether any follow-up sessions are needed

Before and after photos of

Breast Reconstruction

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Patient reviews of

Breast Reconstruction

We understand you may want to change your plans due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its health implications.

Ge Sel

BANGKOK-THAILAND - Verified Patients - 9 June 2021

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BANGKOK-THAILAND - Verified Patients - 9 June 2021

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BANGKOK-THAILAND - Verified Patients - 9 June 2021

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Risks & side effects

Risks and side effects that may be experienced during breast reconstruction surgery include:

  • Bleeding or clotting
  • Infection, or delayed wound healing
  • Undesirable complications from anesthesia
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Some fluid buildup in the tissue donor site or breast during skin flap surgery

Post-surgery complications may include:

  • Necrosis, which is the death of the tissue in either the skin, fat, or tissue flap
  • Muscle strength loss at the tissue donor site for skin flap surgery
  • Sensitivity/sensation changes in the breast or nipple
  • Uneven breasts as a result of issues with the implant, such as rupture, leakage, displacement, or formation of scar tissue
  • Requirement for additional surgical procedures or the removal of the implant if complications persist

FAQs:

Breast Reconstruction

Who are the best candidates for breast reconstruction?

The best candidates are women who have undergone mastectomy as a treatment for breast cancer. However, patients who had a mastectomy performed for other reasons may also be suitable candidates for breast reconstruction. In many cases, reconstruction can be performed in conjunction with breast removal.

 

How long will it take for scars to fade?

It may take about one to two years for tissue healing to be complete and for the scars to fade. However, scars often never fully disappear.

 

Will I have to undergo another procedure?

Additional sessions are typically required for breast reconstruction since at least two surgeries are necessary for the successful completion of the process, along with time to heal in between sessions. A revision procedure may sometimes need to be scheduled as well. Follow-up surgery may also be required in order to obtain better symmetry in the chest area, with the need for additional procedures such as areola reconstruction or to apply a nipple tattoo.

 

Will I have sensation in my reconstructed breast?

Breasts that are reconstructed from natural tissue won’t completely regain the sensation that natural breasts have. However, a certain degree of sensation can be restored through microsurgery that involves establishing a connection between sensory nerves in the perforator flap to those at the mastectomy site. Even without a direct connection, nerve endings that are cut during a mastectomy will gradually grow into the breast reconstructed from natural tissue, providing sensation to a certain extent. This cannot be achieved with breasts reconstructed from implants as these nerves will not grow into artificial prostheses.

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