Types of Breast Reconstruction
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The three main types of breast reconstruction:
- Reconstruction Using Implants: Uses an implant filled with silicone gel or saline to recreate the breast mound.
- Autologous Reconstruction: Breast mound built using tissue "borrowed" from another part of your body.
- Autologous Tissue with Implant: A mixture of both.
Your plastic surgeon and his/her team will discuss these methods with you and counsel you as to which option is
best suited for you based on your physical and treatment characteristics.
Immediate vs. Delayed
Reconstruction can be either immediate (at the same time as the mastectomy) or delayed (at a later time). This
decision may be dictated by the characteristic and stage of the breast cancer, and will be made together with
your breast surgeon. In many cases, immediate reconstruction is a reasonable and safe option.
Immediate reconstruction has been shown to be a safe option for many women. In this type of reconstruction,
the breast mound creation is done at the same time as the mastectomy. This can help minimize the negative
effect that a mastectomy can have on body image and self-esteem. Immediate reconstruction also reduces the
number of anesthetics required to complete the reconstruction. If you are interested in beginning reconstruction
at the time of mastectomy, you must ask your breast surgeon to make a referral for you to see a plastic surgeon.
Delayed reconstruction is performed several months or even years after the mastectomy after other cancer
treatments are finished. Generally we prefer to wait a minimum of 6 - 9 months following the completion of
radiation therapy to allow time for the chest skin to heal before performing breast reconstruction.