This article defines delayed breast reconstruction and explains the advantages and disadvantages of delayed breast reconstruction. The altenative to delayed breast reconstruction is immediate reconstruction, which you can learn more about here.
Delayed reconstruction is a term used to describe breast reconstruction that is performed days, months or years after the mastectomy has already been done. This is in contrast to immediate reconstruction which occurs at the same time as the mastectomy.
Delayed reconstruction is done if the patient has had no breast reconstruction, failed breast reconstruction, or is dissatisfied with her current breast reconstruction.
Delayed breast reconstruction may also be considered if the patient is undecided about breast reconstruction, or would like to recover from the mastectomy and then have reconstruction performed later.
Delayed breast reconstruction may also be considered if the patient knows she will be receiving radiation therapy. Radiation therapy damages any breast reconstruction, and it may be advisable to wait until after the radiation to perform the definitive breast reconstruction.
Delayed breast reconstruction is usually performed by first inserting an “expander” underneath the muscle and the skin of the chest. The expander is then expanded gradually by the infusion of sterile saline over course of several weeks. Once the expander is fully expanded to the desired volume, the expander is exchanged for a permanent implant OR the patients’ own boy tissue in the form of a flap.
It’s never too late to get the breast reconstruction of your choice. Please contact our office for more information or to set up a phone, video, or in-person consultation.