When mastectomy (total breast removal) is required, breast reconstruction is systematically suggested to the patient.
It can be carried out immediately just after the removal of the breast (Immediate Breast Reconstruction or IBR) in very specific cases: in situ or micro-invasive carcinoma, no additional radiotherapy required or in case of recurrence after lumpectomy/ radiotherapy.
It may also be deferred, i.e. carried out at a later time after the mastectomy (Delayed Breast Reconstruction or DBR). It will be performed 3 months after the amputation of the breast in the absence of postoperative radiotherapy, or 6 months to 1 year after treatment in cases where complementary treatment is needed (chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy).
Breast reconstruction has 3 objectives:
Plastic surgery techniques can meet these 3 objectives and provide good results.
Two to three interventions are needed to achieve optimal results, the most important being the reconstitution of breast volume (first step).
It is important to bear in mind that the reconstructed breast will never be identical to the amputated breast. It will be as similar as possible, and as symmetrical as possible with the healthy breast.