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UW Health SMPH
American Family Children's Hospital
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Immediate vs. Delayed Reconstruction: You Have a Choice

Breast reconstruction is your choice - part of that choice involves not only how, but when you will have breast reconstruction.

 

Immediate Breast Reconstruction

 

Considered the standard of care for many patients, immediate breast reconstruction begins at the time of mastectomy. Once your general surgeon completes the mastectomy, your plastic surgeon can begin reconstructing your breast during the same operation.

 

Advantages to immediate breast reconstruction include:

  • Emotional well-being
  • Involves only one operation which may cancel out a second recovery period
  • Potential for fewer scars

Delayed Breast Reconstruction

 

Delayed reconstruction might be the choice for those patients who are going to have radiation and chemotherapy, or those who wish to have reconstruction performed at a later date.

 

For patients undergoing radiation and chemotherapy, delayed reconstruction is often the preferred method due to changes in the cellular structures of the skin that can influence the healing process. Once radiation and chemotherapy are complete, we may tailor the reconstruction according to body type and previous therapies to meet the goals of the individual.

 

Advantages to delayed breast reconstruction include:

  • Additional time to consider options
  • Allow chemotherapy and/or radiation to run its course