It’s common to start or complete breast reconstruction immediately after mastectomy surgery. However, you can choose to delay it for months or years. Ahead, our Lone Tree breast reconstruction surgeons explain how factors such as your cancer treatment, emotional readiness, and access to modern techniques may lead you to put off your procedure.
Sometimes, the details of your cancer treatment will justify delayed reconstruction. Delayed reconstruction can allow more time to complete radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy. These cancer treatments can increase the risk of complications from immediate reconstruction.
If you know you will need additional treatments at the time of your mastectomy, you may want to consider staged reconstruction. It typically involves placing tissue expanders during surgery.
Battling breast cancer can be emotionally draining. You may not want to think about reconstruction while navigating your diagnosis and undergoing cancer treatments.
In this situation, you can decide to go flat after mastectomy surgery. That means not pursuing any type of reconstruction. Remember, you will have the opportunity to change your mind later.
Lack of Access
There are many different procedures and techniques that can rebuild your breasts. However, not all of them are widely available. For example, DIEP flap breast reconstruction is only offered by a select handful of plastic surgeons. This procedure requires advanced training in microsurgery.
If you did not have access to options that sounded appealing at the time of your mastectomy, you might have decided not to pursue reconstruction. Fortunately, it’s possible to travel to a surgeon who performs your chosen technique or procedure, even if many years have passed.
It’s Never Too Late
Natural-looking breasts are still possible. It’s never too late to pursue delayed reconstruction. Our board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeons have helped many women achieve great results years (or even decades) after their mastectomies. Of course, it takes skill, training, and experience to perform delayed reconstruction. Trust our talented team to take care of you.