Institute for Plastic Surgery  |  217-545-8000  |  Fax: 217-545-2588  |  E-mail:  |  Make an Appointment

Types of Breast Reconstruction

The three main types of breast reconstruction:

Immediate vs. Delayed Reconstruction

Immediate can be either immediate (at the same time as the mastectomy) or delayed (at a later time). This decision may be dictated by the characteristic and stage of the breast cancer, and will be made together with your breast surgeon. In many cases, immediate reconstruction is a reasonable and safe option.

Immediate Reconstruction

Immediate reconstruction has been shown to be a safe option for many women. In this type of reconstruction, the breast mound creation is done at the same time as the mastectomy. This can help minimize the negative effect that a mastectomy can have on body image and self-esteem. Immediate reconstruction also reduces the number of anesthetics required to complete the reconstruction. If you are interested in beginning reconstruction at the time of mastectomy, you must ask your breast surgeon to make a referral for you to see a plastic surgeon.

Delayed Reconstruction

Delayed reconstruction is performed several months or even years after the mastectomy after other cancer treatments are finished. Generally we prefer to wait a minimum of 6 - 9 months following the completion of radiation therapy to allow time for the chest skin to heal before performing breast reconstruction.

  Implant/Expander Autologus Tissue
Surgery 2 separate shorter surgeries (2hr)  
Hospitalization Day surgery or overnight stay  
Recovery 2 weeks following tissue expander insertion  
Scars Mastectomy scar only  
Shape and Feel No natural sag, firm over time  
Opposite Breast More changes needed to match implant  
Complications Breast feels more firm + less natural appearing with time