What Options Do I Have After Mastectomy?

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For many women, having a mastectomy is a life-saving choice, but not necessarily one that they make eagerly. The good news is that women who want to retain feminine contours even after removing one or both breasts have a few different surgical options. Dr. Jonathan McCue is known throughout Minnesota as a leading breast reconstruction specialist. Below, he briefly describes some of the options women have for recreating a breast after mastectomy.


Silicone and saline implants, the same types used for purely cosmetic augmentation, are equally effective prosthetics for women who are reconstructing their breasts. Patients can choose an implant size that matches their previous natural breast profile, or another size entirely to achieve their preferred proportions.

To prepare the breasts for implants, Dr. McCue usually utilizes tissue expanders. These devices slowly stretch a cavity in the chest so that it can hold an implant. However, some women have sufficient tissue to hold a breast implant without this process — and they may decide to have reconstruction performed on the same day as their mastectomy. Regardless of the timing, Dr. McCue can overlap reconstruction incisions in the same areas where the mastectomy incisions were placed to avoid making additional scars. 

Flaps of Tissue

Other women choose to skip implants in favor of using tissue (skin, muscle, and fat) from another area of the body to create a new breast mound. This tissue is taken from a nearby area where fat and skin tissue are in excess, such as the abdomen. This is a more involved procedure than using implants, so the recovery is longer, but some women find it worthwhile to know their breasts are composed of their own tissue.

Free Flap Reconstruction

This is like the flap method, except that the tissue is completely detached from its previous blood supply. Many plastic surgeons do not offer this option because it is a longer and more challenging surgery that requires expertise in microvascular procedures to connect new blood vessels to the transferred tissue. Still, it is worthwhile for women who want the most natural-looking results possible. 

Discuss Your Options with a Compassionate, Talented Plastic Surgeon

Whether you have already had a mastectomy or expect to have one soon, it is a good idea to know your breast reconstruction options so you can make a decision that feels right for you. To have all your questions answered by a kind, professional doctor, please call (952) 830-0089 to schedule a consultation at McCue Plastic Surgery.

A Crucial Step
Your Cosmetic Surgery Consultation

During your consultation with Dr. McCue, you will be able to tell him what cosmetic procedure you are interested in, why you are considering plastic surgery, and what results you hope to achieve. He will carefully assess your needs, and help you understand all aspects of your procedure, including a clear explanation of what results you can expect, along with the risks involved with any surgical procedure.

He will also explain all of your options and help you understand what to expect prior to, during, and following the surgery. He will also give you a good idea of the costs of the procedure, if is not covered by insurance. Dr. McCue’s friendly and open personality makes these consultations pleasant and informative for his patients. Contact Dr. McCue soon to schedule your initial consultation.

2805 Campus Dr, Suite 335,
Plymouth, MN 55441

Office Hours

  • Monday – Thurs 8am – 4:30pm
  • Friday 8am –1pm
  • Saturday/Sunday - Closed