To achieve the final aesthetic result, breast reconstruction frequently requires multiple procedures, also referred to as “stages.” The various stages are spaced weeks or months apart. Typically, the less complex surgeries – including nipple reconstruction, fat grafting and symmetry procedures – are performed at later stages, and patients usually go home the same day.
Nipple reconstruction uses your own skin to create a raised area above the reconstructed breast mound. An areola can then be tattooed around the recreated nipple.
Fat grafting, most commonly used as a complementary procedure for women who have undergone either implant based or flap reconstruction, uses gentle liposuction to harvest and then transfer small amounts of fat to areas of the reconstructed breast where contour deformities still exist.
Symmetry procedures include breast lifts and augmentations to match the appearance of the unaffected breast to the reconstructed one. These additional procedures are often covered by insurance plans as part of the reconstruction.