Bi-lateral Mastectomy After BC, Chemo but No Raditiation & I Am Having Reconstruction with Implants?

I was told by someone who had this surgery that the process of the reconstruction w/implants would pull up or tighten skin of my upper abs a little is that correct? I would like to have the skin in that area tightened up (my lower abdominal area is fine) & was thinking of asking whatever surgeon I use about that anyway but don’t know what the options are.

Doctor Answers 3

Implant reconstruction after mastectomy for breast cancer will not affect upper abdominal skin

The technique I perform for women after mastectomy for breast cancer is a single-stage implant reconstruction if we are not planning on a free flap (DIEP, SIEA or TUG) technique. This procedure involves placing a permanent, postoperatively adjustable implant in the space where the breast tissue used to be - i.e. on top of the pectoralis major muscle. 


Because the implant is not under the muscle, deformity and muscle strain is avoided, and the breast maintains a NATURAL and TEARDROP shape.  Additionally, the implant is usually filled by 2-3 weeks after surgery and the lengthy process of tissue expansion with overfilling and waiting a period for implant exchange is avoided. 


The upper abdominal tissue should not be affected by this technique.


Karen M. Horton, M.D., M.Sc., F.A.C.S., F.R.C.S.C.

San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Breast Reconstruction

I would not expect much recruitment of skin from your upper abdomen, you may see a slight difference but not a marked difference.  Discuss this with your surgeon but this should not be your number one priority when it comes to choosing your surgeon or technique of reconstruction.  

Charles R. Nathan, MD, FACS
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Breast reconstruction and abdominal tightness

If you are having an implant reconstruction after mastectomy, the upper abdominal skin may be recruited during the expansion process in a full mastectomy.  It will have little to no impact on the lower abdomen unless you decide to have autologous reconstruction with a flap from the lower abdomen.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.