Natural Breast Reconstruction: Your Questions Answered

FAQ on keyboard

Each week, we have women from all over the state, region, and country reaching out to us with questions on whether or not natural breast reconstruction is right for them. We understand there are a lot of factors to consider, and it’s important to find a resource you can trust.

Our doctors at The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction—and our staff—do our very best to answer all questions we receive. Our team’s goal is to be as helpful as possible during this process and help you make the decision that’s right for you.

In the spirit of educating you and your loved ones, our doctors came up with this list of the most frequently asked questions just for our blog readers.

[Note: If you have a question you’d like answered, Click here to fill out our Ask the Doctor form!]

How long after chemotherapy or radiation should I wait before reconstruction?

Breast reconstruction cannot be performed until 6 months after a patient’s final radiation treatment. However, chemotherapy varies. Some women have mastectomy and reconstruction immediately and do not start chemotherapy until after that is completed. Some women have to do chemotherapy first and then have mastectomy and reconstruction. Others have their mastectomy, have chemotherapy, and wait to have reconstruction. Planning and timing is based on the type of cancer, pathology, oncology recommendation, and the patient preference.

Can natural breast reconstruction be done if my mastectomy was last year?

Although immediate reconstruction has advantages, procedures can also be done years after a mastectomy.

Will the areas where tissue was removed look different?

Although scars will be present, the shape may be improved. Many of our “flap” procedures involve the removal of tissue from other parts of the body. The resulting “tummy tuck” or “buttocks lift” can re-contour these areas for a more youthful, attractive appearance.

Is natural breast reconstruction covered by insurance?

The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 provides protection to patients who choose to have breast reconstruction in connection with a mastectomy. The federal law applies to those covered under group health insurance plans and those with individual health insurance coverage. You should check with your insurance provider for coverage details. Our administrative staff can also help you with reimbursement questions.

To learn more, click here.

Always consult with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. Make an appointment with one of our physicians today.

Your Questions About Breast Reconstruction Answered

The below questions are answered by the surgical team at The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction:

Q: A double mastectomy left me with butcher marks on my chest. The plastic surgeon who was part of the team that performed the mastectomy now proposed to do implants. The existing (very bad) scars will not be in the breast fold but will “cut” the bottom half of the new breasts in two. Could one get rid of these scars when doing a DIEP procedure?

A: We can’t actually “get rid” of scars, but often they can be improved, &/or moved to a less objectionable position. If you wish to send pictures, I could possible give you little more specific information.

Have a great day!

Richard Kline

Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction

Q: I’m having the tram flap done, can you tell me how long after the surgery that it doesn’t work?

A: Hi

It would depend on what type of TRAM procedure you have. If you have microsurgery the first three days are the most important and usually after that the blood supply to the new breast is ok. If no microsurgery is involved it may take longer to know for sure.

James Craigie, MD

Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction

Have questions about breast reconstruction? Submit them here and get answers straight from our surgical team. We’d love to hear from you!