Implant-Based Reconstruction

Implant-Based Reconstruction

We can use implants in a one or two stage procedure to recreate the breast after mastectomy.

This surgery is typically done in two stages, with the first stage at the time of mastectomy (breast removal) when a tissue expander is placed. A tissue expander is a temporary implant that is used to create a pocket for the final breast implant. We are able to place the implant either below (retropectoral) or above (prepectoral) the chest muscle, depending on what is right for the patient depending on a number of complex factors.

The second stage involves the exchange of the tissue expander for a permanent implant, made of either silicone or saline. This typically a short, outpatient procedure and can be combined with a symmetrizing breast lift or reduction on the opposite side.

Some patients, especially women with smaller breasts, may be candidates for one stage surgery, where the implant is placed at the time of mastectomy.

It is important to note that “permanent” implants are not designed to last for your entire life but should be changed every 10-15 years.

In some patients, fat grafting using your own fat removed with liposuction will allow contouring and a more natural appearance for the upper breast.

Does health insurance cover breast reconstruction?


The Women’s Health and Cancer Right Act, signed in 1998, is a federal law that mandates coverage for breast cancer care.

This includes:

  1. Reconstruction of the breast removed by mastectomy with a breast implant or a DIEP flap. This reconstructive surgery can occur either immediately during the same surgery as the mastectomy or at another time, known as a “delayed” reconstruction.
  2. Reconstruction of the other breast to make the breasts look symmetrical after mastectomy
  3. Any physical complications at all stages of mastectomy, including lymphedema (fluid build-up in the arm and chest on the side of the surgery)

Schedule My Consultation

If you’re ready to schedule your implant-based reconstruction surgery or simply want to learn more about the procedure, our doctors can give you the answers and reassurance you need to make the decision that’s right for you. To schedule your private consultation, call 212-628-7300.