It is normal procedure for women to undergo breast reconstruction surgery following a mastectomy. There is a new device that prevents one of the complications that sometimes arise after this surgery.
One common complication is the skin covering the breast during reconstruction dies, due to inadequate blood flow. This complication happens to 1 out of 7 women who undergo reconstructive surgery and it generally results in emergency surgery and many other health related problems.
The good news is that thanks to this new device, surgeons can accurately predict if a patient is at risk of developing this complication after surgery, thus preventing the skin from dying. The new device is called a “spy system” it allows doctors to detect the blood flow within the breast, to discover which areas aren’t receiving a good supply of blood.
When many women have their yearly mammogram they usually receive a normal test result. In some cases, it is during this annual exam that some women receive notice that they have abnormal cells in their breast tissue. The follow-up is immediate and the patient is scheduled for a biopsy exam so that their physician can take a closer look at the abnormal cells.
The cells are examined under a microscope to determine if they are benign or cancerous. If the cells are cancerous, the patient must then undergo a MRI to check for other growths or tumours or to see if there is a second area of cancer cells within the breast. It is during the MRI that the breasts duct, lining and the lymph nodes are checked for additional cancerous cells.
Some women with cancerous cells or those with a family history of breast cancer may not be good candidates for a lumpectomy. A lumpectomy preserves the breasts and it involves only lump removal, during surgery some of the surrounding breast tissue is often removed. When a patient is ruled out for a lumpectomy, a full mastectomy is considered to be the only available option.
Many women decide to undergo a radical mastectomy when cancerous cells are discovered in one breast. They opt for the surgical removal of both breasts, deciding to avoid the possibility of developing cancer in the other breast at a later time.
Today reconstructive surgery involves removal of the breast tissue only, preserving the nipple and skin to help restore the breasts to a near normal appearance.