Breast Reconstruction

What is Breast Reconstruction?

Breast reconstruction is performed to restore one or both of the breasts to a more natural appearance, shape, and size following mastectomy, lumpectomy, or congenital deformities. Breast reconstruction in Scottsdale falls into two main categories, including implant-based reconstruction and flap reconstruction. For those seeking breast reconstruction after a double mastectomy in Scottsdale, our team provides comprehensive care and various breast reconstruction options in Scottsdale to meet individual needs.

Candidates for Breast Reconstruction

Breast reconstruction is a highly individualized procedure that should be done for yourself, not to make other people happy. You may be a good candidate for breast reconstruction in Scottsdale if you are able to cope well with your diagnosis and associated treatment, do not have any additional medical conditions that would impair healing, and have a positive outlook on restoring your body image.

The Procedure

Your breast reconstruction procedure may look different depending on the technique used. These different techniques may include:

Tissue Expansion and Breast Implant Placement

For women who choose implant-based reconstruction, tissue expansion is the first step. An expander will be placed under the skin of the breast which will be gradually filled with saline or air. Once the expander has stretched the skin enough to comfortably house a breast implant, the expander will be removed. Saline or silicone breast implants will then be placed to restore a more natural shape to the breasts.

Flap Techniques

There are a number of different flap techniques used today including:

TRAM Flap:

This technique uses donor skin, muscle, and fat from the lower abdomen to reconstruct the breast. The flap may stay attached to the original blood supply and be tunneled up through the chest way or be detached and formed into a breast mound.

DIEP Flap:

Skin, fat, and blood vessels are cut from the lower belly wall and moved up to rebuild the breast. No muscle is cut or removed.

SIEA Flap:

This technique is similar to the DEIP flap, except that a different area of blood vessels in the belly are moved with the fat and skin.

Latissimus Dorsi Flap:

This type of flap is used along with a breast implant to add volume to the breast. Muscle, fat, skin, and blood vessels will be tunneled from the upper back to the front of the chest.

GAP Flap:

Uses skin, fat, and blood vessels from the buttocks to create a breast mound.

Thigh Flaps:

If tissues from the tummy cannot be used to reconstruct a breast, the tissues in the thighs are often used.


“I have been a Botox patient for years and had my breast augmentation done as well. The doctor wasn't the typical doctor. He actually sat down and spent time with me making sure I fully understand everything and made me feel less anxious. The office is well kept and the staff was very quick and informative! I would recommend this place to everyone.”


Following your breast reconstruction procedure, you may need to wear elastic bandages or a support bra to minimize swelling and support the newly reconstructed breast(s). In some cases, a small, thin tube may be placed temporarily under the skin to drain any excess fluid or blood. Our team will provide you with specific instructions on how to care for your surgical sites, take medications, and keep the incisions clean. Healing will take several weeks, and a follow-up appointment will be scheduled with your breast reconstruction surgeon in Scottsdale to ensure you are healing correctly.

Schedule Your Consultation

For more information regarding breast reconstruction in Scottsdale, AZ, contact North Valley Cosmetic Surgery today.

Breast Reconstruction FAQs

Can I sleep on my side after breast reconstruction?

Sleeping on your side or stomach immediately after breast reconstruction is not permitted. These positions put unnecessary pressure on your healing breast tissue and incisions. If you had implant-based reconstruction, side and back sleeping during recovery may result in malposition.

Can you have reconstruction after breast radiation?

Some surgeons advise patients to wait until after radiation and chemotherapy are finished before having reconstruction. This means reconstruction might be done 6 to 12 months after mastectomy or lumpectomy. Reconstruction also can be done years later if desired.

Do I need to wear a bra after breast reconstruction?

Wearing a bra after you have recovered from reconstruction is largely a matter of personal preference. However, many patients choose to do so in order to support their new breasts and potentially reduce future sagging. It also tends to be more comfortable than going braless.

Does breast reconstruction look natural?

A reconstructed breast will never look or feel (to the touch) the same as a natural breast. Most of the scarring will fade and improve over time, but it doesnt go away completely. As you age and the opposite breast changes shape, the reconstructed breast may look and feel less natural.

How long after breast reconstruction can I exercise?

Wait until about 3 months after surgery to do any resistance/strength exercises. If you have any shortness of breath, pain, or tightness in your chest, stop exercising immediately.

How long does a mastectomy scar take to heal?

Most people find their wounds take around 2 to 3 weeks to heal, but it may be several months before your chest and arm area fully recover. The area will be bruised, swollen and stiff at first.

How long does DIEP flap surgery take?

The tiny blood vessels in the flap, which will feed the tissue of your new breast, are matched to blood vessels in your chest and carefully reattached under a microscope. DIEP flap reconstruction surgery takes about 6 to 8 hours.

How long does it take to recover from reconstructive breast surgery?

Most women can start to get back to normal activities within 6 to 8 weeks. If implants are used without flaps, your recovery time may be shorter. Some things to keep in mind: Certain types of reconstruction surgery do not restore normal feeling to your breast, but in other types some feeling might return over time.

Is a mastectomy considered major surgery?

Mastectomy is considered a major surgery for the below reasons: The procedure involves permanent removal of either one or both breasts, which itself is a major risk factor. Usually, the procedure may last up to 4 hours depending on the severity of the disease.

Is breast reconstruction surgery inpatient or outpatient?

Breast reconstruction with simultaneous mastectomy is primarily an inpatient procedure, whereas breast reconstruction without simultaneous mastectomy is primarily performed on an outpatient basis.

Is it OK to wear a sports bra after breast reduction?

However, you should plan to wear your bra for around 6 weeks after surgery. You should wear it as much as possible (even while sleeping) but can remove it to shower. Some women opt for a special surgical bra while others wear a supportive sports bra.

Is there an alternative to breast implants?

Theres a new alternative to implants that uses your own fat cells to enhance breast tissue. Its called fat grafting, and while it is an involved process of multiple injection procedures, the end result does not involve any surgery or scarring.

What is the difference between Diep and TRAM flap?

Where they differ is in the execution. TRAM flap focuses on using tissue from your abdominal muscles, as well as some soft tissue. DIEP flap spares the abdominal muscle and uses only soft fat tissue and local blood vessels. Each procedure has long recovery times, and similar side effects.

What kind of bra should I wear after breast surgery?

In the first year after breast surgery (such as a mastectomy or lumpectomy), its best to wear a bra that has: soft seams. a wide under band (the band that goes under the cups and round your back) deep front and side panels.

What should I wear after breast reconstruction?

You may be placed in a surgical bra that you will need to wear as you recover from breast reconstruction. Surgical bras can provide healing tissue with gentle compression and comfortable support.

What should I wear after breast surgery?

In most cases youre going to want to wear clothes that are easy to take on and off. Loose fitting t-shirts or blouses and zip-up hoodies tend to work best. Due to the nature of how breast implants are inserted into the body, there will be some incisions made in the body tissue/muscle underneath the skin.

When can I wear a bra after a mastectomy?

It is advisable to wear a non- underwired bra / sports bra for at least two weeks after your operation to minimize discomfort and pressure to the breast tissue whilst the area is healing.

When can I wear a normal bra after breast reconstruction?

In general, most women are able to wear bras 4-6 weeks after breast augmentation.

How difficult is the recovery from DIEP flap surgery?

Healing and recovery after DIEP flap breast reconstruction can be significantly easier than most patients think. With the implementation of ERAS Protocols, most patients experience little discomfort after surgery, require little if any narcotics, and can be discharged from the hospital after 3 days or less.

How do you lift your breast with surgery?

The surgeon will make an incision (cut) around the areola. The cut will usually extend down the front of your breast, from the bottom of the areola to the crease. It may also extend along the sides of the areola. The surgeon will lift and reshape your breasts.

How do you massage your breasts after breast augmentation?

Cup one hand over each breast and press downward then upward.nPush each breast toward the middle of your chest, hold, then pull breasts outward.nPlace an open hand on each side of one breast and gently squeeze the breast before similarly squeezing the other breast.

How do you shower after breast reduction surgery?

Wash with warm water and gentle, fragrance-free soap. Gently clean your upper incisions and drain sites, and rinse well. Dont aim the shower stream directly at your breast. Aim it at your upper back or your arm.

How long is hospital stay after breast reconstruction?

The length of your hospital stay depends on the type of operation and how your recovery goes. If you got implants, the average hospital stay is 1 to 2 days. Flap procedures may require a stay of 5 to 6 days.

How long is surgery for double mastectomy and reconstruction?

The duration of these surgeries (per breast) can take anywhere from 2 to 3 hours for a mastectomy with immediate implant reconstruction or 6 to 12 hours for mastectomy and reconstruction with your own tissue.

How painful is a breast lift?

Whenever you have surgery, you will likely experience some discomfort associated with the procedure, and patients typically describe the discomfort associated with a breast lift as moderate.

How soon after mastectomy can I wear a bra?

It is advisable to wear a non- underwired bra / sports bra for at least two weeks after your operation to minimize discomfort and pressure to the breast tissue whilst the area is healing.

Should you wear a bra to bed?

Theres nothing wrong with wearing a bra while you sleep if thats what youre comfortable with. Sleeping in a bra will not make a girls breasts perkier or prevent them from getting saggy. And it will not stop breasts from growing or cause breast cancer.

What can I do after breast reconstruction surgery?

Most women can start to get back to normal activities within 6 to 8 weeks. If implants are used without flaps, your recovery time may be shorter. Some things to keep in mind: Certain types of reconstruction surgery do not restore normal feeling to your breast, but in other types some feeling might return over time.

What is a DIEP flap breast reconstruction?

The DIEP flap reconstruction procedure is similar to the muscle-sparing free TRAM flap procedure, but it only requires the removal of skin and fat. Unlike in the TRAM procedure, however, no muscle is sacrificed. The DIEP flap—like the TRAM flap—requires an incision into the abdominal (rectus) muscle, as the blood vessels, or perforators, required to keep the tissue alive lie just beneath or within this muscle. Therefore, a small incision is made in the abdominal muscle in order to access the vessels.

What is breast reconstruction surgery?

Breast reconstruction is the surgical process of rebuilding the shape and look of a breast, most commonly in women who have had surgery to treat breast cancer. It involves using autologous tissue, prosthetic implants, or a combination of both with the goal of reconstructing a natural-looking breast.

What should I wear immediately after a mastectomy?

Immediately after your surgery, you will be most comfortable wearing a soft cotton camisole. There are special camisoles that include a removable pocket for any surgical drains. They also have built in bras (like those in some bathing suits) that can hold a cotton puff.

What type of bra do you wear after breast reconstruction?

Wearing a soft, front-closing sports bra is a better option after breast reconstruction. Do not use an underwire bra for many months after reconstruction and remove the underwire from any bras you wear during this time.

When can I sleep on side after breast lift?

In most cases, patients continue sleeping on their back for at least 2 – 4 weeks after breast lift surgery to minimize discomfort. Some patients are able to resume side-sleeping comfortably after 1 – 2 weeks, though stomach-sleeping may remain uncomfortable or painful for much longer.

When can I stop wearing surgical bra?

After two weeks, you may stop wearing the surgical bra and wear a non-underwire, supportive. This should still be worn both night and day for an additional two weeks. After four weeks from the date of your surgery, you may stop wearing a bra at night.


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