Cosmetic Confidence Corner

Top 4 Breast Reconstruction Myths

Posted by Dr. Guiloff

There are several myths floating around when it comes to breast reconstruction do's and don'ts. What it comes down to is what makes the most sense for you, at the recommendation of your doctor.

Here are a few myths to be busted that can help ease your mind and get you started having the right conversation with a medical professional.

Myth #1

You'll need to wait until after the mastectomy before having breast reconstruction.

NOT TRUE! Women with early stage breast cancer, stage 1 or 2, are likely candidates for immediate breast reconstruction during the time of the mastectomy. Performing these steps together can often lead to wonderful cosmetic results since immediate breast reconstruction can save the natural breast skin and potentially decrease the amount of scarring. It also has the added benefit of allowing the patient to wake up after surgery and avoiding experiencing a flat chest.

Nipple-sparing mastectomy is increasingly used for treatment and prevention of breast cancer with the goal to preserve the skin and nipple of the breast mound, allowing the possibility of a true 1-stage surgery where the breasts are removed and replaced in a single operative setting. Past trends show increased numbers of nipple-sparing mastectomy with immediate reconstruction and more single-stage versus two-stage reconstructions

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, November 2017,140(5S)

This 53-year-old woman had right ductal carcinoma in situ in the upper outer quadrant. She underwent bilateral nipple-sparing mastectomy procedures with DTI reconstruction using smooth round silicone implants.
All rights reserved, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: November 2017 - Volume 140 - Issue 5S - p 44S–50S doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000003949


Myth #2

For those who have had radiation, breast reconstruction is not an option.

FALSE! Breast reconstruction is ALWAYS an option, no matter whether a patient is or is not having radiation. Surgeons ofter prefer to delay breast reconstruction until after the radiation and mastectomy have been completed to reduce any risk of additional complications. 

According to Harvard Medical School, "Nipple-sparing mastectomy and immediate reconstruction in patients who had or will receive radiation therapy is associated with a higher incidence of complications and operative revisions compared with patients without radiation. However, most patients have successful reconstructions with nipple retention and no recurrences." 

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, November 2017,140(5S)

(Left), This 42-year-old woman had right invasive ductal carcinoma with lymph node involvement.
She had bilateral nipple-sparing mastectomy procedures with DTI reconstruction using smooth round silicone implants (center). Postmastectomy radiotherapy was given to the right breast, and she is shown 6 months after treatment was complete (right).
All rights reserved, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: November 2017 - Volume 140 - Issue 5S - p 44S–50S doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000003949


Myth #3

Breast implants are the only option for breast reconstruction.

NOPE! Thought when the majority of women think about reconstruction, they will automatically think...breast implants. Skilled surgeons are able to offer a variety of reconstruction options these days to their patients.

One of the advanced options is using perforator flaps during microsurgical breast reconstruction. The surgery uses tissue from the patient's own body (from areas like the thigh, buttocks or stomach) to create a more soft, natural looking breast. shares several options when it comes to breast reconstruction using your own tissues or flap procedures. 


This illustration depicts a free flap, in which the tissue is cut free from its original location and reattached in the chest area.
All rights reserved, & Sam and Amy Collins


Myth #4

Breast reconstruction is only for after botched surgery or another treatment.

Breast reconstruction can be helpful after a severe injury as well as aging and other factors. Time and gravity can change your body, but luckily your surgeon can help inform you of your options so you can make the decision that is right for you.

Here is a happy patient that wanted to turn back the hands of time a bit.



Your Body, Be Informed

There will always be information available (shared by others, posted online, etc.) that might not always be accurate. Please take that into account when searching for options for breast surgery.  

As always, it is recommended to choose a board certified surgeon to determine what is best for your specific situation. 

Have a beautiful day!

Dr. G

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Topics: reconstructive surgery, breast reconstruction, breast, breast augmentation

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