How Long Does Mastectomy and Immediate Breast Reconstruction Surgery Take?

The length of the surgery can vary depending on many things, especially the type of surgery being performed and if it involves one breast or both breasts. In general, expander/implant reconstruction is somewhat faster than abdominal tissue transfer, and usually takes 2-3 hours for one side mastectomy with reconstruction, and 3-4 for two sides.

Many women think that abdominal tissue transfer means a 12-14 hour surgery with possible blood transfusions, intensive care units stays, and an extended recovery. Because of the system that we work with, we are able to perform these surgeries much quicker. Rarely do women require any blood transfusions and all of our women go to the regular surgical floor after surgery.

We coordinate our surgery with the Surgical Oncologist so that we can begin working on the abdomen while they perform the mastectomy, which can save time. Also, by working as a team with two experienced Microsurgeons, we can perform these surgeries much faster than if we worked alone or with unskilled assistants. For a one-sided mastectomy with immediate abdominal tissue reconstruction, we expect to be finished within 4 hours of the start of the mastectomy. For a two-sided mastectomy and reconstruction, we expect to be finished within 6-7 hours. Indeed breast reconstruction requires significant time but it’s worth at the end.