Breast reconstruction

Breast cancer is common. Cancer treatment by specialists is constantly evolving, but many require surgical removal of part or all of the breast. Breast reconstruction is therefore an important stage in the breast cancer treatment journey.

There are many options for breast reconstruction depending on whether partial or complete breast reconstruction is needed. Breast reconstruction can be divided in to implant based and autologous (using own tissue).

Implant only
Implant only reconstruction utilises breast implants to re-create the breast mound.

Latissimus dorsi muscle flap (with or without implants)
This is commonly known as the back flap. Depending on the volume needed, the flap may be combined with implants.

Abdominal tissue breast reconstruction (DIEP or TRAM flap)
Many women have sufficient lower abdominal tissue that can be used to reconstruct the breast mound. The tissue is isolated on the feeding blood vessels traced down to the pelvis. The flap is disconnected from the abdomen and connected to blood vessels in the chest using a microscope (microsurgery). The tissue is then reshaped to resemble the breast mound. This reconstruction gives a soft breast mound that ages with the patient. Harvesting this tissue from the abdomen often improves the abdominal contour.

Time in Theatre

depends on procedure - ranging from 2 hours to 8 hours

Return to work

variable depending on complexity of procedure

Recovery time

4-12 weeks


Average cost

variable (many are covered by medical health insurance)



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