1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Breast Implants and Tissue Expander Reconstruction

Plastic Surgery to Restore Breast Symmetry After a Mastectomy


Updated June 04, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Breast Implants for Double Mastectomy Reconstruction

Breast implants are a quick way to reconstruct breasts after a double mastectomy. You will spend much less time under anesthesia and on the operating table having double implants placed than you would if you opted for tissue flap reconstruction (TRAM, Latissimus dorsi flap, DIEP, SGAP).

Special Considerations about Implants

Radiation: After your breast surgery, if you need radiation therapy aimed at your breast area, you face a 40-50% increased risk of developing hardened scar tissue around your implant. If you know that you will need radiation, tell your plastic surgeon you prefer an implant with a plastic (instead of metal) port for saline injection. A metal port will reflect radiation back onto nearby tissue, possibly causing skin damage.
Scar Tissue: A tissue capsule will form around any implant over time, but if capsular contracture (very rigid scar tissue) develops, you will need help from your surgeon to remedy this condition.
Limited Use: Any type of breast implant may develop a leak as it gets older, and will need to be replaced.

Discuss Breast Reconstruction in the Forum

There are many types of breast reconstruction - implants, TRAM, Latissimus Dorsi, SGAP, DIEP Flap. What procedure did you have? Would you recommend it to anyone else? What went right or wrong with your reconstruction?


American Cancer Society. Breast Reconstruction After Mastectomy. Types of Breast Reconstruction. Revised: 09/06/2007.

National Cancer Institute. Surgery Choices for Women with Early-Stage Breast Cancer. Posted 10/22/2004.

Related Video
Getting a Breast Biopsy
  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Breast Cancer
  4. Life During Treatment
  5. Reconstructive Surgery
  6. Breast Implants and Reconstruction after Mastectomy

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.