While a breast lift or breast enlargement would be considered cosmetic surgery, breast reconstruction can be an important part of treatment and recovery for women who have undergone a partial or complete mastectomy.
With this type of breast surgery, breast size, shape and appearance can be restored to something close to natural. Breast reconstruction can require several surgeries, depending on what the woman desires and how much tissue is left at the removal site. One of the most common procedures in the process is skin expansion, a technique that helps the skin expand to the new breast shape, followed by the placement of implants. If there isn't enough tissue for skin expansion, surgeons may choose to use another procedure, called tissue flap surgery. This type of surgery uses donor tissue (skin, fat and muscle) from the lower abdomen, back or buttocks to rebuild breasts. Nipple and areola reconstructive surgeries may also be needed.