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About This Procedure

Our plastic surgeons have extensive experience in all types of breast reconstructive techniques, including the newest and most innovative procedures. When appropriate, we combine techniques, using flaps, implants and nipple tattooing, to achieve the most natural-looking outcome.

All forms of breast reconstruction after mastectomy have inherent risks, which will be fully discussed during your consultation.

If you have a mastectomy to treat or prevent cancer, breast reconstruction can surgically recreate a natural-looking breast. The procedure can be performed at the time of your mastectomy or at a later date.

  • After a single mastectomy (when only one breast is removed), the goal of reconstructive surgery is to create a new breast that matches your opposite breast and achieves the best possible symmetry
  • After a double mastectomy (when both breasts are removed), the goal is to create breasts that match the size and shape of your natural breasts prior to mastectomy

Your plastic surgeon helps you determine the size and shape of the breast(s) you want and, with the input of your cancer treatment team, which procedure is the best for you.

Immediate vs. Delayed Reconstruction

Breast reconstruction generally requires several procedures. Many women can begin breast reconstruction at the time of mastectomy (immediate reconstruction). Delayed reconstruction typically happens weeks or months after the mastectomy and often depends on whether you are undergoing radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy, among other factors.

Other factors may affect whether you are a candidate for immediate reconstruction or delayed reconstruction, including:

  • Your goals for surgery
  • Size and location of your cancer or tumor
  • Whether radiation therapy or aging has damaged the tissue
  • How much skin and tissue is removed during the mastectomy
  • How tissue is removed from the breast
  • The health of the remaining breast tissue
  • Your overall health
  • If you smoke or quit smoking recently
  • If you are obese
  • Potential for complications
  • Co-existing illnesses (e.g. cardiac disease, diabetes mellitus)