Restores the appearance of breasts that have been surgically removed because of cancer or other diseases. Breast reconstruction can help a womans breasts look balanced while wearing a bra, permanently regain breast contour, and to give the convenience of not needing an external prosthesis.
Usually, 1 to 2 hours. Due to microsurgery required to reconnect blood vessels, flap reconstruction surgeries (see under Technology and Related articles) will take longer.
May take about 6 weeks to recover from a combined mastectomy and reconstruction or from a flap reconstruction alone. Most scars fade over time, but may take a few years to lighten.
Permanent. Usually require follow-up procedures.
New technology and techniques have made it possible for surgeons to recreate a new breast that closely matches a natural breast. A patients own body tissue is used in various operations known as a TRAM, DIEP and EARLi procedures.
Breast reconstruction often takes place immediately after a breast is removed (mastectomy) while the patient is still under anesthesia.