COSMETIC SOLUTIONS POST-BREAST CANCER RECOVERY
How long does it take to recover from post breast surgery treatment?
Breast cancer is a general term used for the disease. There are many types. It can also be either unilateral (only one breast) or bilateral (two breasts). Most often the treatment is based on surgery (mastectomy), which can be limited or extended. The surgery can be associated with chemotherapy (use of drugs), radiotherapy (radiation) or both of them. Breast cancer can affect young or older women. Also, the patient can have other health problems like diabetes, obesity etc. With all these factors and treatments listed above, the recovery after a breast cancer surgery can be very short (about a month) or long (more than a year). It differs patient to patient.
How does it affect the patient psychologically?
Any negative change in the body can affect the psychology of the patient (man or woman) in a negative way, even with the smallest scar. This aspect is even more important with the breast because it’s in our social life. It’s a major aspect for women as they feel like it’s what makes a woman a woman. Patients can lose their self-esteem and fall into depression. That’s why it’s as important to take care of the psychology aspect of the patient, even before beginning any cancer investigation and treatment.
How important are cosmetic procedures when it comes to treating patients?
Cosmetic procedures are very important and have a positive effect on the psychology of the patient. The psychiatric doctor treats the patient form the inside to the outside. The plastic and cosmetic surgeons treat the psychology of the patient from outside to the inside.
What are the various, most frequently used cosmetic procedures?
There are mainly three types of procedures: breast implants, flaps (own patient tissue) and fat graft. These different techniques can be associated with the treatment based on the patient need and case.
Are most patients satisfied?
When the surgeon takes time to explain all the aspects of the procedures like the recovery, side effects, advantages and disadvantages, the patient satisfaction levels are very high.
What is the post-surgery care like? And how does it impact having these cosmetic procedures?
The post-surgery care is as important as the surgery and helps in maintaining health. The patient will follow up with the doctor, depending on the used technique. Sometimes the procedure involves different stages. So, good and close care lays the path for a better result and more effective treatment.
Are there any non-invasive ways too?
Although the principal breast cancer reconstruction is a surgical procedure, some non-invasive techniques can be used in association or alone like medical tattoo, machine drainage, and body fillers.
How frequent should patients visit/follow up with the doctor?
It depends on the procedures and the surgeon. In our clinic Clinica Joelle, we schedule a first week visit and then the first month, three months, six months and one year visit after the surgery.
Please tell us more about patient-reported quality of life and satisfaction with cosmetic outcomes:
The quality of life is really improved. I remember many of our patients saying that they enjoy their life again and don’t try to hide the signs of the cancer surgery. They buy new clothes; some of them even start new activities like sport. They take more care about themselves.
Are these cosmetic solutions restricted to a certain age group of patients?
Age doesn’t matter. It’s more a question of good health of the patient and her expectations.
Anything else to consider when opting for cosmetology post recovery?
Some patients have an unrealistic high expectation. Sometimes they need to understand that even after the cosmetic procedure, there could always be some ‘signs’ or ‘scars’ of the breast cancer surgery. Another very important thing is that some patients wait for the full recovery and the total healing of the breast cancer; understandable after fighting such a disease. That’s why it is always important to have good counseling and even support from the families to help deal with the psychological aspect.
About Doctor Mohamed Hammoud:
Plastic surgery specialist.
French (Paris) fellowship in plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgery.
French (Grenoble) fellowship in MaxilloFacial surgery with 10 years experience.
- American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery
- European College of Facial Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery
- International Society of Hair Restoration
- French Association of Anti-Aging Medicine
- Kuwait Society of Plastic Surgeons
- Tunisian Society of Aesthetic Surgery