What Surgery Can I Have To Match My Healthy Breast to Reconstructed One (photo)?

I have had delayed reconstruction following a mastectomy - LD flap and implant. I now need to match the healthy breast to the recon and there are various options. Would it be best to just have a breast uplift or is an implant better? The recon side looks fuller and firmer than the healthy breast

Doctor Answers 4

Symmetry after breast reconstruction

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Your reconstruction appears to be settling down very well. From the photograph it looks as though you are quite well matched in terms of volume - if so, a mastopexy (lift) will be the right thing for you to have on your left breast. There should be no need for an implant.

The reconstructed side will always behave differently from the other side, as the volume is composed mainly of implant, with a relatively thin layer of your own tissue (from your back) overlying it. Therefore, it is important to accept this difference, as it is impossible to match the two sides perfectly.

Good luck with the rest of your reconstructive journey


Opposite side surgery in breast reconstruction

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From the photo it looks like you might just need only a lift.  An implant without a lift will NOT match the other side. Good luck!


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The most important decision is whether you are happy with the size and shape of the right. If you are then matching the left to the right this involves matching in terms of volume and shape. A mastopexy alone will achieve a similar volume but will never give the same superior fullness you describe on its own. Autologous fat transfer or an implant can be used at the same time as a mastopexy to provide this volume and shape enhancement.
One does need to consider long term whether you wish to have an implant in the left and also whether you could alter the implant on the right to decrease the fullness superiorly on this side.  

Gary L. Ross, MBChB, FRCS
Manchester Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 177 reviews

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Achieving Symmetry in the Natural Breast After Unilateral Breast Reconstruction

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Thank you for the picture. It appears that the volume of your reconstructed breast to natural breast is reasonably symmetrical. You would do well with a mastopexy and no implant. Placing an implant in the natural breast will only increase the volumetric differences as well as the differences in projection between the breasts .

In reference to the discrepancy in firmness and fullness, the reconstructed breast is an implant with a layer of your tissue overlying the implant made up of your flap muscle, small amount of fat, and your skin. The implant is also encased by a capsule which is scar tissue. The scar tissue tends to not be as soft or elastic as your original soft tissues, therefore it is not affected by gravity in the same manner as your breast tissue and you will most likely require another lift on the natural side later on.

I hope this helps. Best wishes.

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.