Debunking Myths about Breast Reconstruction


Breast reconstruction is a procedure to rebuild the shape of the breast after mastectomy or lumpectomy. It involves restoring the breast mound to near normal shape, size, and appearance. The goal of breast reconstruction is to create a new breast that looks and feels as close to the original as possible.

When considering breast reconstruction, it is important to understand the benefits and drawbacks of each type of surgery, as well as the potential risks associated with any surgical procedure. Additionally, there are several factors that can influence which type of reconstruction is best for each individual patient.

In this article, we will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of immediate breast reconstruction, types of reconstruction available, and considerations for reconstructive surgery. We will also discuss how radiation therapy may influence the timing and type of breast reconstruction chosen by a patient.

By understanding these topics in detail, patients can make an informed decision about which type of reconstruction is right for them.

Benefits of Immediate Breast Reconstruction

When a woman undergoes a mastectomy, she has the option to undergo immediate breast reconstruction or to wait until later. immediate breast reconstruction is when the reconstructive surgery is done at the same time as the mastectomy, while delayed breast reconstruction is when the reconstructive surgery is done at a later date. There are many benefits to immediate breast reconstruction that make it an attractive option for many women.


One of the main advantages of immediate breast reconstruction is that it eliminates the need for multiple surgeries. By having both procedures done at once, women can avoid going through additional surgeries and anesthesia in the future. Additionally, immediate reconstruction allows for more natural-looking results since tissue can be moved around during one procedure rather than two separate ones. This also helps to minimize scarring since only one incision will be made.

Immediate reconstruction also makes it easier for doctors to match the size and shape of both breasts since they are able to work with the remaining tissue during one procedure. This helps create symmetry and balance between both breasts which can help restore confidence and self-esteem in many women.


Despite these advantages, there are also some disadvantages to immediate breast reconstruction that should be considered before making a decision. One of these drawbacks is that some women may not be eligible for immediate reconstruction due to medical reasons such as radiation therapy or chemotherapy treatment plans which could interfere with healing after surgery. Additionally, if additional treatments like radiation therapy are needed after surgery, this could affect the results of the breast reconstruction procedure. It’s important to discuss all options with your doctor before making a decision about whether or not immediate breast reconstruction is right for you.

Types of Breast Reconstruction

Breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure that restores the shape and appearance of one or both breasts after a mastectomy, lumpectomy, or other type of breast cancer treatment. Depending on the patient’s needs and preferences, there are several types of breast reconstruction available.


Implants are the most common type of breast reconstruction. This involves placing a saline or silicone implant in the chest to recreate the shape and size of the original breast. The implants can be placed at the same time as a mastectomy or at a later date. Implants may be inserted under the muscle or above it, depending on what is best for each individual patient.

Microsurgical Flaps

In microsurgical flap procedures, tissue from another part of the body is used to reconstruct the breast. The most commonly used flaps are TRAM (Transverse Rectus Abdominis Myocutaneous) flaps and DIEP (Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator) flaps, which use tissue from the abdomen to reconstruct the breast. Other types of flap procedures include latissimus dorsi flaps and gluteal flaps, which use tissue from the back and buttocks respectively.

Fat Grafting

Fat grafting is a relatively new technique that uses fat taken from another part of the body to fill out an area where there has been some loss of volume due to surgery or radiation therapy. Fat grafting can also be used to create natural-looking contours in reconstructed breasts. It is important to note that fat grafting may need to be repeated multiple times in order for it to be effective.

Regardless of which type of breast reconstruction is chosen, patients should speak with their doctor about all options available so they can make an informed decision about what is best for them.

Considerations for Breast Reconstruction

When considering breast reconstruction, there are several important factors that need to be taken into account. These include the timing of the surgery, the type of reconstruction being done, and any potential effects of radiation therapy on the outcome. Here we will discuss these considerations in more detail.

Timing of Surgery

The timing of breast reconstruction is an important factor to consider. Immediate reconstruction is typically recommended for women who have undergone a mastectomy as it allows them to start feeling comfortable with their new body shape right away. However, some women may opt for delayed reconstruction if they want to take some time to adjust to their new body before moving forward with surgery. Additionally, some women may not be candidates for immediate reconstruction due to medical reasons such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy. In these cases, delayed reconstruction may be recommended.

Radiation Therapy and Breast Reconstruction

Radiation therapy can affect the outcome of breast reconstruction surgery and should be taken into consideration when making decisions about timing and type of procedure. Radiation can cause scarring and tissue damage which can make it difficult for surgeons to achieve desired results from implant-based procedures or flap reconstructions. It is important that patients discuss any plans for radiation therapy with their surgeon prior to undergoing any type of breast reconstruction surgery so that they can make an informed decision about what procedure might work best for them.

In conclusion, when considering breast reconstruction it is important to take into account factors such as timing and potential effects from radiation therapy in order to ensure the best possible outcome. By discussing all options with your surgeon you can make an informed decision about what type of procedure will work best for you given your individual circumstances.


Breast reconstruction is a major decision that should be discussed with a doctor and the patient’s support system. It is important to consider the benefits, risks, and types of reconstruction available. In addition, timing of the surgery and radiation therapy are important considerations for women considering breast reconstruction.

Overall, breast reconstruction can be a positive experience for many women who have had mastectomies. It can help to restore their sense of femininity and provide them with improved body image and self-confidence. By understanding the different options available, women can make an informed decision about which type of reconstruction will best meet their needs.


How can we help?