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What is Breast Reconstruction Surgery

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Updated February 12, 2011

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Immediate Breast Reconstruction With Breast Implants
plastic breast reconstruction surgery after mastectomy

After Breast Reconstruction Surgery

Photo © ADAM

Immediate Reconstruction With Breast Implant (One Step)

Immediate reconstruction of the breasts occurs during the same procedure as a mastectomy and is typically performed by a plastic surgeon. Experts recommend immediate reconstruction for patients who expect to have radiation after the mastectomy procedure. The elasticity of the skin, the ability of the skin to heal and the appearance of scar tissue can be altered by radiation therapies. By completing the reconstruction prior to radiation, the skin has a greater potential for healing leading to a more cosmetic result.

During immediate reconstruction, at the conclusion of the mastectomy portion of the procedure, a breast implant is inserted in the place of the removed breast tissue. The type of implant, silicone or saline are most common, is a choice made by the patient after discussion with the plastic surgeon.

One of the benefits of immediate reconstruction is that there is no need for an additional surgery after immediate reconstruction. The procedure is performed once the mastectomy portion of the surgery is done, eliminating the risk associated with a second surgery. Some women find this option to be more attractive than other types of reconstruction for emotional reasons. The patient doesn’t see the breast between the removal of tissue and the placement of an implant.

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