Breast reconstruction restores your feminine appearance and self-esteem.
Women who are ready to turn a new page and restore femininity to their figure after a mastectomy, injury, or congenital condition may consider breast reconstruction. In many cases, breast reconstruction is performed immediately after mastectomy, but this process varies based on specific treatment protocols. Our knowledgeable team of plastic surgeons will work closely with your oncological team to determine the best course of action to produce the safest and most beautiful results. It is best to include your aesthetic surgeon in the planning of your breast reconstruction even before undergoing your mastectomy (if possible) so that the initial surgery is performed with your reconstruction in mind.
Breast reconstruction is more than a surgical procedure, it is an emotional journey that brings you to the resolution of a serious diagnosis and treatment. Working with a kind, compassionate surgeon, who is also able to tailor your surgery to your precise needs, will make all the difference in your experience and your outcome.
Are You a Candidate for breast reconstruction?
The following circumstances may indicate your readiness for breast reconstruction:
- You are prepared to move to this next phase of your recovery process
- Your treatment is completed or will not interfere with your reconstruction
- There are no other medical conditions to prevent a safe and successful surgery
- You want to improve your appearance and bring symmetry to your breasts
- You want to feel confident in swimwear and certain types of clothing
Breast reconstruction approaches
There are different times when breast reconstruction may be considered:
- Immediate reconstruction occurs at the same time as your mastectomy
- Staged reconstruction is done in steps, which may begin during the mastectomy and be completed many months later
- Delayed reconstruction is performed at a point after the mastectomy
The timing of your breast reconstruction will be determined by numerous factors, including your readiness for this step in the process. Other factors will include whether you will have chemotherapy or radiation after your mastectomy, and if you have formed a relationship with a plastic surgeon before your initial surgery. IMAGN INSTITUTE surgeons will help you achieve your aesthetic goals at any stage of the process, to provide you with the ability to manage your reconstruction on your own terms.
If your reconstruction is immediate, implants will be placed at the time of the mastectomy. If reconstruction is performed in stages, expanders may be placed in the breast tissue during the mastectomy, which will make room for the implants at a later time.
When there is insufficient skin and tissue left to accommodate an implant, a flap procedure may be required. This surgery involves the removal of skin and tissue from another area of the body like the back or abdomen to create a new breast. In some cases, a combination of these two techniques can be used to produce the best aesthetic result.
at a glance
The Recovery Process
Breast reconstruction may be done on an outpatient basis, or you may spend a night or two in the hospital, depending on how and when the procedure is done. Recovery from this surgery also varies somewhat although most patients are back to regular activities within about two weeks. You will want to wait longer before participating in more strenuous activities to give your breasts ample time to heal, as well as any donor sites that might have been used for a flap procedure.