After breast cancer surgery
Today, breast cancer affects one out of nine women. In most cases, treatment implies breast surgery. Reconstructive surgery can reduce the eventual consequences of breast cancer procedures.
Removal of the tumor, conserving the rest of the breast (tumorectomy), followed by radiotherapy, can sometimes lead to an imbalance between the breasts, a hollow scar or a displacement of the nipple & areola. After a clinical examination, various possibilities to improve breast symmetry are discussed in detail with you.
Breast cancer can require total removal of the breast tissue, conserving the skin envelope (skin sparing mastectomy). This allows immediate breast reconstruction during the same operation: the breast volume is reconstructed either by a silicone gel implant, or by the patient’s own tissues, such as the muscle of the back (latissimus dorsi flap) or the skin & fat of the belly (free DIEP flap by microsurgery).
If cancer requires total removal of the breast (mastectomy), reconstructive surgery can be performed in a secondary intervention.
During more then fifteen years, Dre Schaepkens performed all types of breast reconstruction, but since 2020, she only treats the eventual consequences of breast cancer, such as correction of asymmetry or scars, or reconstruction of the nipple & areola.
Reconstruction of the areola & nipple is possible from six months onwards after reconstruction of the breast, using your own tissues or by tattoo. Today, very natural looking silicone reproductions exist, these can already be applied after complete healing of the scars. Most reconstruction methods require minor corrective or revision surgery, adjusting volume or reducing a scar. These procedures can be performed in an outpatient setting or under local anaesthesia.
Breast reconstruction is generally not decided during one single consultation. Dre Schaepkens van Riempst is at your disposal as often as you require for further explanations and discussions.
Once breast cancer treatment and reconstruction are finalized, the patient may experience a feeling of loneliness. She may be confronted to a loss of self-esteem: changes in her body with more or less important scars, questioning of her femininity, life as a couple where sexuality needs to find another balance, consequences of chemotherapy, etc. Dre Schaepkens van
Riempst takes it at heart to be there for you to discuss and to listen to you. She can help you with medical hypnosis therapy at her practice or can guide you eventually to other therapists, to allow you to find a new quality of life after breast surgery.