Breast Reconstruction

What is Breast Reconstruction?

Breast reconstruction can be a fulfilling and rewarding step toward completing the journey to recovery from breast cancer. This procedure restores the breast(s) to as near normal size, shape, and feel as possible. Breast reconstruction can correct asymmetry that may have resulted from a unilateral mastectomy, or it can restore both breasts after a double mastectomy. Patients can choose to undergo their reconstruction at the same time as the mastectomy (immediate reconstruction) or some time after the mastectomy (delayed reconstruction). Breast cancer patients who are eligible for breast-conservation surgery (lumpectomy) have the option of undergoing oncoplastic surgery (oncoplasty). Oncoplasty involves the removal of the breast tumor and the immediate reshaping of the breast tissue to create a smooth, natural-looking breast. Many women choose immediate reconstruction or oncoplasty for the psychological benefits. No matter the technique used, breast reconstruction patients generally experience an increase in confidence and improved overall quality of life compared to those who do not undergo reconstruction.

The Benefits of Breast Reconstruction

Breast Reconstruction Options


  • Involves the insertion of silicone or saline implants
  • Can be performed in one stage under certain circumstances, but it is often performed in two stages:
    • A temporary device (known as a tissue expander) is placed beneath the pectoral muscle and gradually filled with saline water at weekly or bi-weekly office visits
    • Three to six months later, after the skin and muscle are expanded enough to allow adequate room for the desired implant size, a second surgery is performed to replace the tissue expander with the implant
  • Shorter surgery time
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Faster recovery

DIEP Flap Surgery

  • Involves the transfer of skin and fat from the abdomen to the breast
  • More natural look and feel because it is your own tissue
  • Considered the “gold standard” for reconstruction
  • Longer surgery and recovery but produces a breast that looks and feels natural
  • Can be used to reconstruct a complete breast mound or to provide coverage and support for an implant
Dr. Mesbahi is fellowship trained in microvascular surgery and cancer reconstruction, has a special interest in breast reconstruction, and offers his patients the latest techniques in reconstructive breast surgery. He is dedicated to patient comfort and understands the delicate nature of this procedure.
Oncoplastic reconstruction is an immediate reconstruction procedure in which Dr. Mesbahi works with the breast cancer surgeon to minimize or eliminate deformity from a lumpectomy. After the tumor and its margins are resected by the breast cancer surgeon, Dr. Mesbahi repositions the remaining breast tissue to minimize scarring and create the best possible cosmetic outcome. This procedure is ideal for patients with moderately sized or large breasts. Dr. Mesbahi also offers nipple-sparing mastectomy reconstruction.
The best reconstruction option for you will be based on your physical examination, medical condition, and your preferences. During your consultation, you and Dr. Mesbahi will discuss your goals and the benefits and disadvantages of each option to determine the best choice for your individual needs. In some cases, a combination of both implant and flap reconstruction may be used, where the tissue flap provides the necessary coverage and support for the implant.
After the procedure, bandages will be applied to your incisions, and a surgical bra will be placed on your reconstructed breast(s). A small drain tube may be placed under the skin to remove any excess fluid for the first few days. Bruising and swelling will be apparent for several weeks. Dr. Mesbahi will give you specific instructions to follow based on your individual circumstances and reconstruction type.
Breast reconstruction after breast cancer is considered a reconstructive procedure rather than an elective cosmetic surgery, so your health insurance may cover all or part of the costs.

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