Secondary Breast Reconstruction
We can help you get the beautiful breast contour you deserve
Breast reconstruction is a complex procedure. Even in the hands of a plastic surgeon with considerable skill and experience, there will be some cosmetic differences between the reconstructed breast and your natural breast. Sometimes, it is not possible to achieve an optimal breast shape or appearance in one single surgery.
At Breast Reconstruction Specialists, our board certified plastic surgeons are highly experienced in corrective breast reconstruction procedures, and we have helped hundreds of women from throughout the U.S. improve upon a previous breast reconstruction and restore confidence in their appearance.
Usually, secondary reconstruction can be performed as an outpatient procedure, and recovery will be shorter compared to the recovery required after initial breast reconstruction.
Why might I need secondary breast reconstruction?
Patients undergo secondary breast reconstruction for many reasons. For many patients, a secondary surgery is anticipated as part of their breast reconstruction plan. In some cases, patients choose to have a secondary surgery to address complications or achieve a better aesthetic result.
Improving results of previous breast reconstruction
Often, a secondary procedure is performed to correct the symmetry or appearance of the breast. For example, a patient and her surgeon may wish to:
- Improve the cosmetic results of initial breast reconstruction
- Reduce large or irregular scars
- Replace breast implants with natural tissue flaps
- Improve symmetry between the breasts
Correct complications from surgery
In the hands of an experienced, qualified plastic surgeon, breast reconstruction is successful the first time around for the many patients. However, complications do sometimes occur. In this case, a secondary breast reconstruction may be the best option to correct the issue.
- Correct failed tissue flaps
- Alleviate pain from capsular contracture or other complications from previous surgery
Secondary reconstruction is sometimes part of a patient’s intended treatment plan. If you require tissue expanders to preserve breast skin or retain a normal breast appearance while you undergo radiation therapy, for example, you will need a second surgery to remove the tissue expanders and complete your final breast reconstruction.
Nipple & areola reconstruction
Although it is optional, many patients choose to have the appearance of a nipple and areola restored to their reconstructed breasts to achieve the most normal, natural appearance possible. This less invasive surgery is performed as a separate procedure, once the patient has fully recovered from breast reconstruction. Learn more about nipple and areola reconstruction »
Timing of secondary breast reconstruction
When you have a second procedure to complete or improve upon your initial breast reconstruction surgery will depend on several factors, including your cancer treatment plan and what issues need to be addressed with surgery. In general, secondary surgery is considered appropriate when:
- Additional therapies such as radiation or chemotherapy are complete
- Results of initial breast reconstruction have healed adequately for a surgeon to make the desired changes
- The patient is in good general health and emotionally ready to have secondary reconstruction
If you are currently considering your options for breast reconstruction, our board certified plastic surgeons will be happy to help you understand the different procedures available, including secondary breast reconstruction, and choose the right option for your needs.