Breast Reconstruction

Reconstructive Timeline

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Key Points from Visits to Christine Fisher MD in Austin, TX



1. Initial consultation

Immediate reconstruction at the time of mastectomy can be scheduled within 72 hours if:

  • Patient was recently diagnosed with breast cancer
  • Patient needs a mastectomy as soon as possible
  • Coordinated with our oncological breast surgeons

Delayed reconstruction is usually scheduled three to four months after initial consultation if:

  • Patient has previously had a mastectomy
  • Patient has a congenital chest wall deformity (Poland's syndrome)
  • Patient has suffered breast implant failure from a previous reconstruction

Initial consultation is usually about an hour:

  • Review patient history and discuss all options
  • Physical examination
  • Clinical photography
  • Discuss when to schedule surgery
  • Review instruction packets
  • Determine which lab tests will be needed

2. Pre-op visit (may be combined with initial consultation in some cases)

Your pre-op visit will usually last about 30 minutes:

  • Review consent forms if not completed at initial consultation
  • Review CT scan results, if applicable
  • Review the plan and discuss remaining concerns
  • In some cases, apply operative markings
  • Review pre-operative instructions
    • Nothing to eat or drink after midnight
    • When to arrive and where to check in
    • Instructions for family members
Christine Fisher, M.D.

Christine Fisher, M.D.

  • Known for natural-looking aesthetic results in breast reconstruction and cosmetic surgery.
  • Elected by her peers for inclusion in Texas Monthly's Texas Super Doctors®: Rising Stars listing.
  • Reconstructed over 1,500 patients, including more than 500 DIEP flap reconstructions.
  • 4.9-star average rating over hundreds of reviews for cosmetic surgery.
  • American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)
  • American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)
  • American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery

3. First stage reconstruction

Living tissue reconstruction requires a three-day inpatient hospital stay:

Post-op visit:

  • One week after surgery
  • Usually 15 to 30 minutes
  • Check reconstructive sites
  • Remove drains, if ready
  • Instruction for wound care and activity
  • Review care instructions

Follow-up visits:

  • Usually 15 to 30 minutes
  • Check reconstructive sites
  • Suture removal, if indicated
  • Initiate plan for second state reconstruction, if necessary

Download Our Breast Reconstruction Post-Operative Care Guides

We've compiled detailed post-operative care instructions to best equip our breast reconstruction patients throughout their recovery process. To ensure the best and safest recovery, your plan encompasses appropriate prescriptions and clear directions towards maintaining your comfort to get you back to normal life and activity as soon as possible. Individual patients respond uniquely, and the type of procedure may differ, but these basic guidelines will help you along your journey.

Download Post-Operative Care Guides

4. Second stage reconstruction (when necessary)

At least 12 weeks after first stage reconstruction; may be delayed until completion of chemotherapy or radiation:

Outpatient hospital procedure:

  • Nipple reconstruction
  • Breast contouring to refine shape
  • Donor site scar revision or contouring, if needed
  • Reduction, augmentation, or breast lift to opposite side, if needed for symmetry

Pre-op visit:

  • Usually about 30 minutes
  • Discuss patient goals and concerns, refine plan
  • In some cases, apply pre-surgical markings
  • Clinical photography
  • Review consent forms
  • Review instructions, time to arrive, and directions to check in

5. In-office nipple tattooing

  • At least eight weeks after second stage reconstruction
  • Requires 45 minutes to one hour and 15 minutes, depending on if the patient had nipple reconstruction or not (3D tattooing is indicated in cases where the patient did not have nipple reconstruction and takes a little longer)
  • Review care instructions
  • Schedule follow-up appointment

6. Follow-up appointment

  • About six weeks after tattooing
  • Final check on breast reconstruction
  • Clinical photography
  • Discuss scheduling annual follow-up visits, if applicable
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Contact Christine Fisher MD by calling (512) 815-0123 or sending a message online.

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Before and After Photo
This image contains nudity. Click to reveal. Actual patient. Results may vary.
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