Two Types of Breast Reconstruction After Masectomy

Have you recently undergone a mastectomy? Breast cancer takes a tremendous toll on women, both physically and emotionally, and many women feel that they have lost part of their femininity after a mastectomy. Dr. Lorraine Golosow works with compassionate care and can help restore your look and confidence with breast reconstruction surgery.

What is a Mastectomy?

A mastectomy is a surgical procedure that removes part or all of the breast tissue and sometimes other nearby tissues. A mastectomy can be performed on one or both breasts to treat breast cancer. It can also be done as a preventative measure if you are at high risk for developing breast cancer. For women with breast cancer, removing the breasts will also remove the cancerous cells so it may be medically necessary, but it is still an emotionally difficult procedure.

What is Breast Reconstruction?

Breast reconstruction is reconstructive surgery offered after mastectomy to restore the shape of the breast and create a more feminine appearance. It is done using implants, tissue from other parts of your body, or a combination of both. Breast reconstruction is an individual decision and should be discussed with your doctor. There are two types of breast reconstruction:

Breast Reconstruction with Implants

Implant-based reconstruction uses a breast implant to restore the shape of the breast. The implant may be filled with saline or silicone gel and placed in the chest wall after the mastectomy has been completed. Moreover, a breast implant may also be combined with other procedures, such as fat grafting and tissue flap surgery, to create a more natural look so that you feel more confident in your appearance.

Breast Reconstruction with Fat Grafting

Fat grafting uses fat from another part of your body (usually the abdomen, back, buttocks, or inner thigh) to rebuild the breast. During this type of surgery, fat and skin are grafted from one area of the body to create a new breast mound. Some patients prefer this option because your augmentation is more natural.

Who is a Candidate?

Candidates undergoing breast reconstruction should be in good health, with no significant medical conditions. Based on your current cancer treatments and your unique cosmetic needs, a consultation with Dr. Lorraine Golosow is required to determine whether you are a good candidate for this procedure.


Your level of recovery following a mastectomy and reconstruction varies depending on your procedure. Drains will usually be put in to prevent fluid buildup and these are removed by Dr. Golosow a few days later at your post-op appointment. Compression garments or a surgical bra must be worn to minimize swelling and guarantee proper recovery. There may be bruising, swelling, and soreness but prescription painkillers can manage these symptoms.

You must adhere to the post-operative instructions Dr. Golosow gave you to minimize the risk of complications and ensure the best possible results. On average, you should expect to rest and relax for the first two weeks while most of the swelling and bruising go down. Over the following months, you will be able to slowly get back to your normal activities.

Schedule a Consultation

If you are considering breast reconstruction, you must find an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Lorraine Golosow. Contact Dr. Golosow to schedule a consultation and learn more about your options. During this visit, you can discuss the details of your procedure and determine the best plan for restoring your breasts. We look forward to helping you on your journey toward recovery.

Who is a Candidate for Breast Reconstruction?

A breast cancer diagnosis can be extremely challenging and if you have a mastectomy, breast reconstruction may be something that can help. It’s important to know that breast reconstruction requires candidacy like any other surgical procedure and that a board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Golosow is the best person to help you determine your options and partner with your care team. Here’s what to know about whether breast reconstruction is right for you.

1. Do you have any other medical problems?

Major medical problems may disqualify you from breast reconstruction surgery. When considering surgery, your plastic surgeon will assess your overall health to determine if you are a good candidate. Your plastic surgeon will also partner with your oncology team to determine if you’re in good enough health to undergo a reconstructive procedure at the time of your mastectomy or if it’s best to wait.

2. Do you have realistic goals?

It’s important to have realistic goals for reconstruction surgery. This means understanding that breast reconstruction will not make you look exactly like you did before a mastectomy. Reconstruction surgery aims to give you breasts that look natural and feel comfortable. Keep in mind that your new breasts may be unfamiliar and strange at first, especially compared to your initial breasts. It will take time to adjust as well as recover from surgery, so give yourself time to become comfortable.

3. Are you able to take the time to recover?

After reconstruction surgery, you will need to take care of yourself and your new breasts. This includes wearing a surgical bra, avoiding strenuous activity, and attending follow-up appointments. It can take several weeks to recover from breast reconstruction, so make sure that your schedule can be adjusted accordingly before considering surgery.

4. Are you at a healthy weight?

Smoking and being excessively overweight can increase your risks both during and after surgery. Make sure to go over your complete health history during your consultation with Dr. Golosow so you can ensure your procedure goes smoothly and safely.

Schedule a Consultation

Your first step in breast reconstruction is meeting with an experienced plastic and reconstructive surgeon. To meet with Dr. Golosow, contact our Fort Myers or Cape Coral locations by calling or filling out our online contact form.

Your Breast Surgery Options Explained

A woman’s breasts can impact her self-esteem and self-confidence significantly. There can be changes in the breasts from aging, weight fluctuation, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and even diseases such as cancer. Thankfully, there are numerous surgical options available for women that can give them the breast look they want and improve their quality of life. 

Breast Surgery Options

Every woman’s body and goals are different. There are options for any need. Some surgeries can be combined, as well. Here are breast surgery options that you and your surgeon can choose from:

  1. Breast Augmentation: When your breasts are not the size you want or are asymmetrical, breast augmentation can help. This is one of the most popular surgeries performed because it helps women feel more confident and can give better shape, volume, and contours to the breasts.
  2.  Breast Implant Exchange: After a woman has had augmentation, she may eventually decide on a breast implant exchange, also called a revision. This procedure entails removing the current implant and putting in a new one. Some reasons this surgery is done are due to capsular contracture, rupture, wanting to change the size or shape of the implant, or wanting to change the type of implant.
  3. Breast Implant Removal: Sometimes, a woman may decide to remove the implants permanently. It can be because she experienced problems with her implants, or sometimes she just wants to go back to the natural size and shape of the breasts instead of the current augmented one.
  4. Breast Reduction: When a woman’s breasts become excessively large, they can cause great discomfort to her. The weight can cause back and postural issues that impact the quality of life. If a woman is faced with these problems, she may decide to reduce the size of her breasts surgically to help. This surgery can reduce and eliminate pain and other issues caused by large breasts such as sell-consciousness or the inability to do activities she loves.
  5. Breast Lift: Aging, pregnancy, weight fluctuations, and breastfeeding can impact the firmness and volume of the breasts. They may begin to sag and droop. A breast lift can help them sit higher on the chest and look more youthful and firmer. Sometimes breast lifts are combined with augmentations or reductions to give the best results.
  6. Breast Reconstruction: Breast cancer can sometimes cause a woman to lose her breasts via mastectomy. This is a necessary surgery, but the loss of one or both breasts can impact a woman emotionally. There are methods to reconstruct breasts after mastectomy. The two main options surgeons have are implants or using the patient’s tissues to rebuild and give them a new breast or breasts. Having this surgery can help a woman celebrate survival and also help her heal emotionally at the same time. She will feel more feminine and like her old self again.

Schedule a Consultation

If you are interested in one or more of these procedures, call Lorraine Golosow, MD. and her staff today to book your consultation.

Breast Reconstruction: What to Expect

When a woman has breast cancer, she may undergo a lumpectomy to remove the tumor and surrounding tissue, or a mastectomy to remove one or both breasts. This can be a hard change to accept. Many women choose to get breast reconstruction to feel like themselves once again.

What Is Breast Reconstruction?

Breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure done to rebuild a breast lost to mastectomy. It can also fill out and give symmetry to a breast that’s lost significant tissue to a lumpectomy. Dr. Lorraine Golosow offers breast reconstruction at her Florida office.

Types Of Reconstruction

When it comes to this procedure, there are two main options to give women the breasts they want.

1.Implant: Breast reconstruction can be done using either a saline or silicone implant that goes under the chest muscles or on top of them. If you have skin and tissue left after the operation, sometimes the implant may be added at the same time as the cancer surgery.

If you get a mastectomy, you may need to have a tissue expander put in before you can get your final implants. The expander will go under the skin and it will gradually be filled with saline to stretch the skin to make sure there is enough to cover the implant once it’s placed.

  1. Flap: Flap reconstruction is also called autologous reconstruction. It uses tissue from the woman’s own body to recreate the shape of a breast. There are two main methods to flap reconstruction:
  2. Free flap: This method is when the entire piece of donor tissue is removed from its blood vessels, moved to the new location and reattached to the blood vessels there via microsurgery.

2.Pedicle flap: This option is where the donor flap is still attached to its blood vessels and it’s moved under the skin to the new location in the chest. This method is easier because doctors are often more familiar with it and it does not require microsurgery. Different procedures are depending on which donor site you and your doctor choose for the flap.

Risks And Precautions

Risks of the surgery include:

  • Fluid buildup
  • Bleeding
  • Blood clots
  • infection
  • Capsular contracture
  • Implant leaking or rupturing
  • Necrosis

Other things to know:

  • Implant surgery may require a healthy breast to be surgically altered for symmetry
  • Some flap procedures make pregnancy afterward inadvisable
  • Implants often do not last a lifetime and need to be replaced
  • Breasts may be uneven


Recovery from reconstruction can take 6-8 weeks. Things to know about recovery:

  • You may have drains and compression garments
  • You will have lifting restrictions
  • Full healing may take 1+ years
  • Avoid strenuous activity for 4-6 weeks after

Your doctor will give you aftercare instructions as well.

If you wish to discuss reconstruction options, call  Lorraine Golosow, MD  and her team today to book a consultation.