Available at the following centers:
Kapiolani Pali Momi Straub

The goal of breast reconstruction is to restore one or both breasts to near-normal shape, appearance, symmetry and size following mastectomy, lumpectomy or other trauma.

Breast reconstruction generally falls into two categories: implant-based reconstruction or flap reconstruction. Implant reconstruction relies on breast implants to help form a new breast mound. Flap reconstruction uses the patient's own tissue from another part of the body to form a new breast. There are a number of factors that should be taken into consideration when choosing which option is best, including:

  • Type of mastectomy.
  • Cancer treatments.
  • Patient’s body type.

Types of implant reconstruction:

First, a temporary device known as a tissue expander is placed inside the breast cavity to create the soft pocket that will contain the permanent implant. Some surgeons may also use an acellular dermal matrix to assist with reconstruction. Once expansion is complete, the expander will be exchanged for the permanent implant during an outpatient procedure. 

This approach allows for a breast implant to be implanted immediately following mastectomy, foregoing the need for a tissue expander. Some patients may still require a secondary procedure.