Breast Reconstruction

Debra Irizarry, MD, FACS

Plastic Surgeon & Dermatologist located in Crestone, CO & Salida, CO

Breast reconstruction surgery is designed to help women restore both the look and feel of a natural breast following a mastectomy. Although some women may choose to wear padded bras and others may choose to do nothing at all, reconstructive surgery is an excellent option for those who want to restore a breast to its normal shape, size, and appearance. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Debra Irizarry provides breast reconstruction surgery for mastectomy patients at her top-rated practice in Salida and Crestone, Colorado. To find out more, call or book your appointment online today.

Breast Reconstruction Q & A

What is breast reconstruction?

Breast reconstruction surgery helps restore one or both breasts to near normal shape, appearance, symmetry, and size. While it’s most often used following a mastectomy, it can also be done after a lumpectomy or to address congenital deformities.

Immediate breast reconstruction is performed at the time of the mastectomy, while delayed reconstruction surgery is done at a later date.

Although many women are able to undergo immediate breast reconstruction surgery, your ability to do so depends on:

  • A comprehensive physical exam
  • Surgical risks (such as being a smoker)
  • Post-surgery cancer treatments

There are two main types of breast reconstruction: Implant-based reconstruction and flap reconstruction. Implant reconstruction uses breast implants to help form a new breast mound, while flap reconstruction uses your own tissues from another part of your body to form a new breast.

Which reconstruction option is right for me?

While there is no one best reconstruction method, there are pros and cons to each method, and ultimately only you can decide what works best for you, after considering a variety of factors:  

Body shape

Your anatomy and shape can influence which type of reconstruction will most likely give you the best results. For example, having larger or smaller breasts may mean that you’ll also require breast reduction or breast augmentation surgery on your natural breast for more even results.

Lifestyle

The type of reconstruction you choose may be influenced by how active you are; flap reconstruction surgery that uses muscle tissues from other areas of your body may not be the best choice if you’re very athletic, for example.

Type of mastectomy

Patients who have had a double mastectomy may be more likely to consider implant-based reconstruction, simply because it doesn’t require as much donor tissue from other areas of the body.

Which type of implant should I choose?

If you opt for implant-based reconstruction, you have two basic choices: Implants made of silicone gel, or implants that contain saline. Both types are safe and FDA-approved.

The main difference between the two has to do with how they look and feel. Patients who opt for silicone gel implants usually do so because they look and feel more like a natural breast. Saline implants, on the other hand, are easier to insert and replace, if necessary.

What are the benefits of breast reconstruction?

Although reconstruction surgery won’t be able to exactly match the look and feel of your natural breast, it can come close to restoring both your physical form and your confidence.

Breast reconstruction is a very personal decision, and it’s a decision that Dr. Irizarry can help facilitate. If you’re going to have a mastectomy and you’re thinking about breast reconstruction, talk to Dr. Irizarry before your surgery. She can help you understand the pros and cons of all your options.