Who Should Avoid Undergoing Mastectomy?
Mastectomy is not recommended for women over the age of 50 and who are already suffering from heart diseases. It in fact increases complications in their cases and there are lesser chances of the treatment being entirely successful.
Pregnant women in their first trimesters can undergo mastectomy but reconstruction should be postponed till after the baby is born.
What Are The Alternatives To Mastectomy?
Breast cancer has several treatment methods that are surgical, affect hormones, focus on radiation and those, which are target specific.
There are various alternatives that are breast conserving in nature.
Lumpectomy - It is also called excisional biopsy. It is a procedure that removes only cancerous tumours and the abnormal tissue that surrounds it, from the breasts. This method does not remove the breasts completely. However, if cancerous cells exist in the tissues surrounding the tumor, the procedure is ineffective. There is also higher chance of cancer relapse.
Quadrantectomy - In this procedure, only a quarter of the tissue from the breasts and the muscles within 2 to 3 cms of the tumors, are removed. However, radiation is generally used after the procedure, which can leave the skin injured and irritated.
Apart from this, chemotherapy is used as supplements to treat the condition where drugs are used to destroy or slow down the growth of cancerous cells in the body.
Radiotherapy also controls the growth of cancer by using high energy waves like gamma rays, x rays and electron beams to destroy cancerous cells.
Does Mastectomy Lead To Scarring?
Scarring is an inevitable part of mastectomy. Any surgery involves incisions and the size and position of the scar depends on the type of technique chosen.
Women often find scars and keloids on the incision sites. It is important not to use any anti-scarring creams or cosmetics on the area other than the medication prescribed by the doctor. Castor oil, vitamin E, onion extract, aloe vera and argan oil are some topical ingredients that can help with healing scars.
Scars heal considerably over time and fade away but revision treatments can also be opted for after a year, after consultation with your surgeon.
What Are The Temporary Side-effects Of Mastectomy?
Pain - You may feel pain in near the incisons and in the chest wall. Taking over the counter medication, as prescribed by the surgeon will greatly help.
Infection - You should monitor any signs of infection near the wound and let your doctor know about the same. These infections are rare and subside in a 1-2 weeks.
Bleeding - Using ice packs will greatly help ease the discomfort and bleeding. The area should be bandaged properly.
Seroma - The doctors generally place drains to help with fluid retension, however incase of excess buildup, patient can visit the doctor to get the fluid removed.
Fatigue - This is the most common complication. Patients should take rest for some extra weeks after the surgery to be able to recover properly.
Change in sense of balance and arm movement - You can look up some exercises or ask your doctor for them, to ease the stiffness and the tingling sensation that usually appears after the surgery.
How To Choose A Surgeon For A Mastectomy Surgery?
Choosing the appropriate doctor for a surgery such as mastectomy is as easy as choosing a general physician for a cold, given the number of medical facilities and the high quality of services provided by hospitals due to an emerging medical tourism market. The only difference is that you’re doing it in a foreign country. With the surge in medical tourism and the increasing international recognition of medical practitioners from all corners of the world, it is easy to find the right surgeon, if you follow a few instructions:
Researching on the qualification of the surgeon, such as years of experience and education background.
Finding out about the accreditation status of the hospital that the doctor works in.
Interacting with the doctor and the managing staff of hospital to see whether he devotes time to you.
Considering patient testimonials of the surgeon and photographic evidence of surgery.