Delayed and Immediate Breast Reconstruction

Published August 18, 2014

Delayed and Immediate Breast Reconstruction

A lot of women find themselves undergoing breast reconstruction with the hope of improving their breast or at least restoring it to a more desirable form. But it’s important to research and be aware of how this can be achieved. In any case breast revision surgery can be classified into two types depending on how and when the operation is performed – immediate breast reconstruction and delayed breast reconstruction.

Now this begs the question – what’s the difference between the two and which type of reconstructive breast surgery should you opt for?

Immediate breast revision surgery

As the name may already imply, immediate breast revision surgery is done immediately after or at the same time as mastectomy (the surgical removal of the breast). Such a procedure has the benefit of being less invasive and a lot less complex because the surgeon doesn’t have to deal with scarring or tissue damage due to radiation therapy which is something that breast cancer patients will need to undergo after the operation.

Following the initial operation (mastectomy), various additional procedures may be required to achieve the desired results. If you are going to have immediate breast correction procedures, make sure that your surgeon informs you of exactly what he or she intends to do during the procedure and amount of time it is going to take.

Delayed reconstructive breast surgery

Now on the other hand, a delayed breast reconstruction operation means that it is an operation that a patient undergoes (or is planned to undergo) at a later period of time. It’s important for patients to know that they are required to have radiation therapy immediately after mastectomy which can affect the healing process and cause more scarring when preceded by breast reconstruction surgery as it makes the entire operation more invasive than necessary to achieve the objectives of mastectomy.

Of course these decisions about breast reconstruction can also involve other factors such as the overall health of the patient and the stage of the breast cancer. Surgeons typically won’t recommend an immediate reconstructive effort for a complete mastectomy operation (the full removal of the breast tissue). Needless to say, you should listen to your qualified breast surgeon about which type of breast reconstruction procedure may suit your needs.

Other factors that need to be considered include:

  • The normal size of your breasts
  • How much healthy breast tissue remains after the initial procedure? Some women may not immediately have enough to make immediate breast reconstruction viable.
  • Does the patient have enough extra body tissue to create flap grafts (Most women with low body fat often do not and would have to wait several months to undergo a reconstructive effort)
  • Is the patient’s insurance going to cover the cost of the breast reconstruction operation?

Are you financially prepared for the procedure? If not then you might want to wait several months to sort things out or scout out favourable interest rates from creditors to properly finance the operation.

Would you like to know more about your options in breast reconstruction? Are you looking for an accomplished surgeon in breast reconstruction? Call us on 1300 368 107 to arrange a consultation with Dr Tavakoli..

Published By: Dr Kourosh Tavakoli

Dr Kourosh Tavakoli, MS, FRACS, is an Australian-trained plastic surgeon with over 20 years of surgical training. He is an active member of the International Society (ISAPS) and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS). He is knowledgeable in plastic surgery of the breast and body and lectures extensively around the world on these topics.