Plastic Surgery 101

How to do a breast reconstruction long after your mastectomy

Q.It has been 10 years since I had my mastectomy. I have been thinking of doing my breast reconstruction. Is it possible at this time to do that?

A. Yes, it’s possible to do a breast reconstruction during and after a mastectomy. Many patients wish to delay reconstruction to make sure they are cured.

Breast reconstruction takes many forms — it could be done during the initial procedure either with an implant or using your own tissue, which consists of muscle and skin from different parts of your body.

For someone like you who has had a mastectomy many years ago, reconstruction would the easiest with an implant. A breast implant could be used directly if you did not have skin contracture, but more than likely you would need to put in an tissue expander. An expander is an implant that stretches your skin and muscle to place an implant without a problem. This process may take up to six months depending on your needs. Once the expander has done its job, the doctor places the implant. A nipple reconstruction can be done or a tattoo artist can make the nipple as well. This should be a very satisfying procedure for you.

Dr. Carlos Wolf is a partner in Miami Plastic Surgery and is board certified. Email your questions to him at