Unilateral Breast Reduction + Reconstruction?

When I reduce right breast, can you use the skin and tissue to reconstruct the left breast, that was removed 5 yrs ago?

Doctor Answers 11

Breast reconstruction with tissue from opposite breast is not an option

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It may not seem like a bad idea to take tissue from a breast that needs to be reduced anyway and use it to make a breast on the mastectomy side, but it just isn't possible. The good news is that breast reconstruction techniques have improved a lot in recent years, so for example if you had a tissue expander and alloderm graft it would be 2 outpatient surgeries, one of which would be combined with the reduction.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Breast reconstruction

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I would not move breast tissue from one side to the other. It is not possible to keep it alive. Not blood supply. The skin from the reducted breast is not needed. Either tissue expansion or an autologous flap are better.

David L. Abramson, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon

You cannot use the tissue from one breast to reconstruct the other.

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Unfortunately, we cannot use the tissue from one breast to reconstruct the other. However, in select cases, the nipple reconstruction may be aided by using the normal nipple from the unaffected breast (known as a "composite nipple" reconstruction).

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Breast reduction vs reconstruction

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There really is no way to use tissue from one breast during a reduction to reconstruct the other breast.One might take tissue from the larger breast thru liposuction and use it to augment the other breast but this remains controversial.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

Breast reconstruction on One Side and Breast Reduction on the Other Side- A common Combination

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While using breast skin and/or breast tissue from one breast to reconstruct the other breast is not a good idea, there are many ways to use natural tissue to reconstruct your other breast. In fact, reconstruction of the absent breast can be done at the same time as the breast reduction surgery. 

The most sophisticated methods of natural tissue breast reconstruction are known as perforator flaps. The DIEP flap is the most commonly utilized method of perforator flap breast reconstruction- it uses tissue from the abdomen to reconstruct a woman's breast/s. Advances in the field of microsurgery and the availability of sophisticated microsurgical techniques have revolutionized breast reconstruction surgery in recent years. In particular, when perforator flaps are used for reconstruction, skilled surgeons can shape tissue so that looks and feels as natural as a woman’s own breast. Perforator flap breast reconstruction offers the benefits of autologous breast reconstruction without the disadvantages of procedures that necessitate the sacrifice of muscle such as the TRAM flap.

Tissue from one breast cannot be used to reconstruct the other

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Hi there-

It would be neat if what you suggest were possible, but it is unfortunately not.

Achieving symmetry in situations like yours can be challenging- find a surgeon with a lot of experience and training in breast reconstruction and discuss your options.

Unilateral Breast Reduction + Reconstruction?

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Tough question but best to see at least 3 in person boarded PS in your area. From MIAMI Dr. Darryl j. Blinski

Breast surgery

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If you need a reduction on one side, the tissue can not be used to reconstruct the opposit breast.  But there are many ways to reconstruct the opposite breast if it is absent.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Breast reduction in contralateral breast reconstruction

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Interesting question since there was a procedure many years ago perfected by my mentor, Dr. Millard, using this concept. A tubed pedicle flap consisting of the opposite good breast tissue was transfered to the opposite mastectomy side in a series of operations. This is hardly ever done although still a viable alternative in very, very, very rare situations when no other alternatives are available.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Breast reconstruction

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Tissue removed during breast reduction is NOT used for breast reconstruction of the oppsite side.

There are many options available for breast reconstruction. Discuss your options with a BOARD CERTIFIED PLASTIC SURGEON (AMERICAN BOARD OF PLASTIC SURGERY)

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

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.