Breast reconstruction can either be done as Immediate Reconstruction or as Delayed Reconstruction.
Immediate Reconstruction (done at the same time as the mastectomy); Delayed Reconstruction (done after chemotherapy treatment and/or radiation, or even years after a mastectomy).
THE THREE MAIN CATEGORIES:
Autologous reconstruction, where the patient’s own tissue is used to recreate the breast; prosthetic (placement of a breast implant) reconstruction; or a combination of above using the patient’s own tissue and an implant placement.
The type of reconstruction a patient is best suited for remains very individual. Dr. Landman will explain the different options applicable to you, as well as the pros and cons of each option after a consultation.
The end goal is to have a safe procedure that offers the patient as much symmetry as possible when she is wearing clothes or underwear. It’s quite amazing, the results that can be obtained these days. Sometimes, you can hardly tell the difference. Breast reconstruction after breast cancer falls under PMB (prescribed minimum benefit) legislation. This means that medical aids should cover the surgery. Some medical aids do have DSP (Designated Service Providers) and they might require the patient to use these service providers. To improve quality of life the reconstruction aims at 2 symmetrical breasts. In cases where the opposite breast requires a lift of a reduction some medical aids might not cover that. Cost varies greatly among the different procedures. In cases of risk-reducing surgery (for instance when the patient has a family history of breast cancer and she wants to have a mastectomy to limit her chances of getting the disease), some medical aids might not cover the surgery. This varies from medical aid, as well as the plan option.
Some medical aids will only cover the procedure if the patient is BRCA gene positive