What are your reconstruction options?
One of the first decisions you’ll need to make if you decide to have breast reconstruction is whether to have immediate reconstruction, which is performed at the time of the mastectomy; or delayed reconstruction, which is performed weeks, months, or even years after your mastectomy. You and your surgeon can thoughtfully decide which of these options is best for you.
Your medical situation, breast shape and size, general health, lifestyle and goals determine the type of breast procedure that is available to you.
There are several ways to approach breast reconstruction:
• By the use of prosthesis (a breast implant, either silicone gel or saline-filled).
• A tissue flap which is a combination of skin, fat, and/or muscle that is moved from your stomach, back, or other area of your body to the chest, where it is shaped into a new breast. A tissue flap also may be used to provide skin or other tissue needed to make up for what was removed at the time of surgery, or changed following radiation treatment.
• A combination of the two.
A major consideration:
It is likely that you will undergo additional surgeries to improve symmetry and appearance – whether or not you have reconstructive surgery with or without breast implants
Nipple reconstruction is normally done as a separate outpatient procedure after the initial reconstruction surgery is complete.