What is breast reconstruction surgery?

What is breast reconstruction surgery? | Chicago Plastic SurgeryFor women who have had one or both of their breasts removed due to a mastectomy procedure and seek to restore the appearance of their breasts, breast reconstruction cosmetic surgery may be an appropriate procedure.

This innovative procedure can effectively restore the breast appearance enhancing the patient’s self-confidence and sense of femininity.


Not Simple; Not Routine

But breast reconstruction is a complex surgical procedure which should only be performed by a well-qualified and highly experienced plastic surgeon.

At the time of the initial consultation, the surgeon will determine the patient’s candidacy for breast reconstruction as well as recommend the most suitable reconstruction technique for them. To help the patient make a judicious choice, they will also provide clear and transparent answers to any concerns that the patient may have.

Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Jacob Bloom provides breast reconstruction to patients in Chicago, IL, and surrounding locations.


Good Candidates

An ideal breast reconstruction candidate will often have the below mentioned characteristics:

  • Seeks to restore a natural breast appearance after a mastectomy
  • Is free of cancerous tissue
  • Does not smoke or is willing to stop smoking for a specific period and follow the surgeon’s pre and post-op instructions
  • Has coped well with the cancer diagnosis and treatment
  • Is willing to devote the time necessary for the multiple procedures that breast reconstruction involves
  • Has realistic expectations from the procedure and a positive mindset

The surgeon will inform the patient of the advantages and limitations of breast reconstruction cosmetic surgery as well as explain to her the various steps involved to enable her to prepare adequately for the reconstruction process.



Breast reconstruction plastic surgery may be undertaken along with the mastectomy or at a later date when the patient’s recovery from breast removal is complete.

The breast implant and flap techniques are the two primary techniques to perform breast reconstruction. In the implant technique, the surgeon places silicone or saline implants underneath the chest muscle.

The flap reconstruction technique involves the surgeon reconstructing the breast using excess skin, fat, and muscle from other areas of the patient’s body. The surgeon will recommend the most suitable technique for the patient depending on her unique requirements and circumstances.


Implant-based Reconstruction

Implant-based reconstruction involves a few stages. At the outset, the surgeon will place a balloon expander underneath the skin and chest muscle to expand the area.

For the area to stretch enough to hold a breast implant, it may take many weeks or even months. Subsequently, the surgeon will perform the reconstruction using silicone or saline implants of an appropriate shape or size.


Flap Reconstruction

This procedure involves the surgeon removing excess tissue from donor sites such as the buttocks, back, or abdomen. This tissue is then purified and grafted into the chest region. The surgeon uses this new tissue to develop the breast mound. At times, they may also place the implant simultaneously.

There are additional incisions involved in the flap technique, and this will procedure will cause a little more scarring and take a longer time to heal. However, the results with this technique may appear more natural and sustain for longer compared to the implant-based breast reconstruction technique.



Breast reconstruction surgery typically involves a downtime of around two weeks. At this time, the patient should undertake gentle walks around the house as well as perform light activities. But she should not lift heavy objects or exercise aggressively in the initial recovery phase.

Cosmetic surgeon Dr. Jacob Bloom receives patients from Chicago, IL, and nearby areas for breast reconstruction.