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Mastectomy & Reconstruction

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?

  • 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.

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

Before & After

Image by Greg Rosenke
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