Reconstructive Timeline

Reconstruction Timeline JPG FINAL

1. Initial consultation                                                            (download a PDF of this timeline here)

  • 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 Breast Oncologic Surgeons
  • Delayed reconstruction is usually scheduled 3-4 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)

  • Your pre-op visit will usually last about 30 minutes.
  • Review consent forms if not completed at initial consultation
  • Review CT scan results
  • Review plan and discuss remaining concerns
  • 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

3. First stage reconstruction

  • Living tissue reconstruction requires a 3 day inpatient hospital stay
  • Post-op visit
    • One week after surgery
    • Usually about 15 minutes
    • Check reconstructive sites
    • Remove drains if ready
    • Instruction for wound care and activity
    • Review care instructions
  • Follow-up visits
    • Usually about 15 minutes
    • Check reconstructive sites
    • Suture removal if indicated
    • Initiate plan for second state reconstruction if necessary

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 on opposite side if needed for symmetry
  • Pre-op visit
    • Usually about 30 minutes
    • Discuss patient goals and concerns, refine plan
    • 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 8 weeks after second stage reconstruction
  • Requires 30 minutes to 2 hours
  • Review care instructions
  • Schedule follow-up appointment

6. Follow-up appointment

  • About 6 weeks after tattooing
  • Final check on breast reconstruction
  • Clinical photography
  • Discuss scheduling annual follow-up visits

Contact Us

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.