When women are making decisions about breast reconstruction after mastectomy, an Australian web-based aid, BRECONDA, may offer much-needed help making important decisions about reconstruction options. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to the reconstruction of breasts after mastectomy, with women having a lot of decisions to make about what procedures will best suit their circumstances. Breast reconstruction is not done just one way.
The tool explains the pros and cons of each reconstruction option, plus goes through the chance that their treatments, namely radiation therapy, may impact their reconstructions – timing could be critical to a successful reconstruction.
The Breast Reconstruction Decision Aid (BRECONDA), set up by the Breast Cancer Network Australia, has information on breast reconstructions that includes the options, types, when the best time to have a reconstruction is, what to expect from reconstructions, and the risks. There are also patient testimonials so women can hear from other women about their choices.
This information is extremely useful for women after breast removal via mastectomy, whether it is just one breast or both, since stress around decision-making at these times can be major. BRECONDA access is very cheap – AU$10 – making it an invaluable resource for any woman facing breast reconstruction. The most important offering is its reduction of stress and anxiety during a big emotional time.
Breast reconstructions using fat grafts
Increasingly, research is showing that breast reconstructions using a combination of implants and fat grafts get more natural-looking results. This is most visible in the cleavage, where in thinner women, the edges of the implants can be seen, creating a ridge and gap between the breasts. Adding fat grafts to the inner edge of the implants softens this, creating a more natural-looking cleavage.