After a mastectomy, surgeons can use different techniques to create breast that as closely as possible matches the shape, size and feel of your breast. In terms of timing, there are two options for you and your plastic surgeon to consider: immediate breast reconstruction or delayed breast reconstruction.
Immediate Breast Reconstruction
Immediate breast reconstruction is done at the same time as your mastectomy. It can have both emotional and visual advantages. Some women find that waking up from a mastectomy with two breasts helps to ease the grief caused by losing a breast. Another advantage is that your surgeon can use a technique that results in less scarring.
Delayed Breast Reconstruction
With delayed breast reconstruction, the surgery is done at a later date. One reason why you may choose to wait is because it allows you more time to explore your options. Also, waiting allows you to complete other treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation. You should be 6 months post radiation therapy and 2-4 weeks post chemotherapy.
Delayed breast reconstruction can be performed weeks or even years after having a mastectomy.