Mastectomy & Reconstruction: Overview
Mastectomy is a surgical procedure designed to remove all breast tissue on one side, including your tumor. Mastectomies may or may not remove the nipple. Some women opt for a “prophylactic mastectomy” on the opposite side—this procedure, which removes the healthy non-cancer breast, is performed after a discussion between you and your breast surgical oncologist. Read further to learn about Mastectomy & Reconstruction.
When Can I Undergo Reconstruction Of A Mastectomy Defect?
Plastic surgeons can perform reconstruction of a mastectomy defect at three timepoints:
- Immediate breast reconstruction occurs on the same day as mastectomy.
- Immediate-delayed breast reconstruction occurs ~7 days after mastectomy, once pathology returns.
- Delayed breast reconstruction occurs after the chest has previously been closed flat, and can occur months, years, or decades after mastectomy.
I’d give Dr. Oliva and the staff at Plastic Surgery NW 10 stars if I could. Dr. Oliva did an amazing job on a complicated reconstruction after double mastectomy. He was great at explanations, thinking of ways to improve the results and overall I couldn’t be happier! I’d recommend him to anyone!
How Many Procedures Will I Need To Undergo?
Breast reconstruction typically requires multiple different surgeries, encompassing 3-4 procedures over approximately one year. The stages consist of:
- Building the breast mound to restore the volume of a breast on your chest using breast implants or your own tissue
- Revising the reconstructed breast for improved contour and procedures to improve symmetry between your breasts
- Building the papule of the nipple
- Tattooing the areola