Your Breast Reconstruction Timeline

I. Initial Breast Reconstruction Consultation

  • Typically lasts about 60 minutes
  • We obtain your history and discuss reconstructive options
  • Initial patient photos are taken
  • We discuss your surgical plan and start the scheduling process

II. Pre-Operative Appointment for First Stage Reconstruction Surgery

  • Occurs two weeks before your surgery
  • Usually takes about 1-1.5 hours with the nurse
  • Review of the surgical plan with you
  • Remaining questions and concerns are addressed
  • Pre-surgery instructions are reviewed:
    • Nothing to eat or drink after midnight before surgery day
    • Time of arrival and directions to hospital
    • Instructions for family members
  • Complete blood work, EKG, and chest x-ray as needed

III. Stage One—Breast Reconstruction Surgery

  • Perforator flap surgery (DIEP, TUG, GAP, etc.)
    • Typically requires a four day inpatient hospital stay
  • Implant based surgery (tissue expanders, direct-to-implant with Alloderm)
    • Requires a 1 or 2 day stay in the hospital

IV. Initial Post-Operative Visit

  • 7-14 days after surgery
  • Typically lasts about 30 minutes
  • Removal of drains as indicated
  • Review of care instructions

V. Further Follow-Up Visits

  • Scheduled as necessary per nurse and surgeon
  • Typically last around 15 minutes
  • Removal of remaining drains as indicated
  • We discuss the surgical plan and start the scheduling process for your Second Stage (Revision Surgery)

VI. Pre-Operative Appointment for Second Stage (Revision Surgery)

  • Two weeks before your surgery
  • Appointment usually takes about 45 hours with the nurse
  • Review of the surgical plan with you
  • Remaining questions and concerns are addressed
  • Pre-surgery instructions reviewed:
    • Nothing to eat or drink after midnight before surgery day
    • Time of arrival and directions to hospital
    • Instructions for family members
  • Complete blood work, EKG, and chest x-ray as needed

VII. Stage Two—Revision Surgery

  • Typically scheduled for at least 3 months after initial reconstructive surgery
  • Procedure performed as an outpatient
    • Breast shaping, contouring, asymmetry correction, fat grafting as needed
    • Nipple reconstruction
      • In some instances, the nipple reconstruction will not be performed at this time. Depending on the type of revision, the nipple reconstruction may be performed at a subsequent stage (stage 3), which in turn moves the micropigmentation to a later time (stage 4)
    • Re-contouring of the donor site as needed (tummy, buttock, thigh or back)
    • Scar revision

VIII. Revision Post-Operative Visit

  • 1-3 weeks after surgery depending on procedure performed
  • Typically lasts about 30 minutes
  • Removal of drains or sutures as indicated
  • Further instructions about post-operative care and activity are provided
  • We initiate planning of nipple-areola micropigmentation or 3D tattoo if necessary

IX. Final Stage—Nipple-Areola Micropigmentation or 3D Tattoo

  • 3 months after previous stage.
  • Medical micropigmentation performed as an office procedure by the nurse
  • 3D tattoo performed by a licensed tattoo artist is also an option

It is important to remember every breast reconstruction journey is different and depending on your individual experience, this timeline may vary.

PRMA Plastic Surgery