Go to Top

Breast Reconstruction

Breast Reconstruction Surgery

 Our body is a fragile mechanism, its health and form always influences mental integrity and general well-being. Women who have undergone the toils of a breast cancer and mastectomy would like to go back to their normal routine and lead a full life again as soon as possible. Breast reconstruction can be the last step towards complete physical and psychological healing. In most countries breast reconstruction surgery is covered by insurers.

Breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure that aims to rebuild the breasts and the nipples to achieve a normal-looking result after mastectomy. It is usually not performed at the same time as mastectomy, because it would carry too many risks. It is quite a complex procedure sometimes requiring multiple surgeries with weeks or months of follow-up care.

A healthy body image is essential, especially for women, so it is natural that you will take all the hardships of the treatment.

It can be breast reconstruction after mastectomy (within the same operation) or a delayed, separate operation carried out when you have already recovered from mastectomy and radiation therapy.

Preparing For Breast Reconstruction Surgery

  • Consider gains and risks, make your expectations clear for the doctor.
  • Get informed about all your options, methods and ask the doctor for reference works.
  • Talk to your insurer, there must be a coverage plan for your operation.
  • Prepare yourself emotionally for a brand new body-image, and that maybe the outcome will not be perfect.
  • You will need some lab tests done and a general health status checkup.
  • Avoid smoking between mastectomy and breast reconstruction.


Breast Reconstruction Options

After mastectomy usually there is no sufficient tissue to hold the implant, so before it is placed, a tissue expansion or flapping is necessary.

  1. Tissue Expander Breast Implants

In this procedure the surgeon places a tissue expander implant under the muscle. Then saline solution is injected to expand the tissue, which can take 4-6 months until the desired size is reached. Finally, a permanent implant is placed under the expanded tissue. Recovery is easier than with flap technique, but the procedure is lengthier. If you wish to have only an implant and no tissue placement, this is the best solution for you.

              2. Flap reconstruction

It takes tissues, skin, fat and muscles from less visible parts of the body and reconnects it at the reconstructed site. Usually the donor part is the abdomen, buttocks or back. To complement the flap technique a silicone or saline implant is usually placed under the relocated tissues.

             3. Mold-assisted flap reconstruction

Taking measures from the patient with the help of a laser scanner and 3D printer, a mold is used to guide the doctors to achieve symmetry.

            4.  Creating nipple and areola

Although, nipple-saving mastectomy is a wide-spread method, very often there is a need to reconstruct them from scratch. Aesthetically very satisfactory results are achieved, however one should know that the touch and sensitivity cannot be compared to the former state. It can happen by taking tissues from the other, intact areola and nipples and reconstruct it creating a raised skin mould at the right place, make and incision around it and suture it back. To finish with, the raised flap is tattooed to the right color.

Breast reconstruction surgery often involves breast lifting, augmentation of reduction on the other breast, to achieve more symmetry.

Possible Complications

  • Infection
  • Allergy
  • Bleeding
  • Breast firmness
  • Implant rupture
  • Loss of sensation in the breast and the donor area.
  • Scarring
  • Asymmetry

Life After the Surgery

Right after the surgery you will be instructed to wear a special bra and elastic bandage to hold the breast. You might be given ice-therapy to relieve pain, swelling and hematoma, medication to avoid infections. The doctor will inform you about the necessary follow-up steps or programme the next surgery for corrections or the nipple and areola reconstruction.

Reconstruction with implant has the advantage of a faster recovery, which might be around 3 weeks, whereas in flap-based surgery, it might be 6 weeks and the tissue donor body parts remain week and sensitive because of the muscle removal.

You are advised to go on regular cancer checkups, especially mammography to monitor recurrence. Once fully recovered, you can be sure, your self-confidence and life quality will improve enormously.


on 03/03/2014
4 / 5 stars
Britney Lingo
Breast Reconstruction
I decided to go through with reconstruction following mastectomy , finally I feel complete like a woman again, thanks onlinemedical for finding me a good hopsital , I will never forget that
Breast Reconstruction