How many operations are required for breast reconstruction?

Dr. Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgeon

The number of operations that are required for breast reconstruction is variable. Many factors are involved including stage of tumor, nodal involvement, necessity for radiation therapy to the chest wall, desire of the patient, and blood supply to the remaining breast tissue. When reconstruction with tissue expander and later implant, several months of tissue expansion is required with later second surgery placement of permanent of silicone implant. A third stage may be required for nipple-areolar reconstruction. Autologous tissue transfer may require multiple stages to reshape and debulk the breast mound.

Because the consequences of cancer are as unique as the woman fighting the disease, the results of breast reconstruction can be unpredictable. Stay positive, but know that several surgeries may be necessary. Complete breast reconstruction often involves several stages of surgery, from the mastectomy until creation of the nipple-areola complex.

The number of operations required for breast reconstruction depends on the type of procedure.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.