What are the different types of breast reconstruction?

Dr. Hicks discusses types of breast reconstruction. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.


Breast reconstruction surgery is an option some women choose to rebuild the shape of the breast after some or all of the breast has been removed because of cancer.

There are two main types of breast reconstruction procedures that are most common, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS).

The ACS describes the procedures as follows:

  • Breast implants – These implants can be filled with saline, which is a sterile salt water, or with silicone gel. The saline implants have been used the longest. The gel implants look and feel more natural. This type of reconstruction surgery has a shorter recovery time and is the most common types in the U.S.
  • Tissue flap procedures – This uses your own tissue to reshape the breast. Tissue is removed from another part of the body, such as the stomach, back, or thighs. Recovery is longer for this surgery because there is more surgery in multiple locations on the body. However, they look and feel more natural than implants. This procedure can leave scars at the second surgical site.

In some cases, women decided the best option for them is a combination of these two procedures, according to the ACS.

Talk to your doctor for more information about different types of breast reconstruction.

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