What’s the Difference Between Breast Augmentation and Breast Reconstruction?

Many people think that cosmetic breast augmentation and breast reconstruction are the same. Although there are similarities between the two, the procedures and outcomes are typically very different.

While there’s no procedure that can restore feeling in the breast region after a mastectomy, recent advances have expanded the range of reconstruction options available to women today. Patients can get excellent cosmetic results whether they choose to have the procedure done with implants or using their own tissue, generally known as flap surgery.

Let us at Breast Reconstruction Associates, your breast reconstruction experts in Dallas, help you weigh your options.

Cosmetic breast augmentation is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures performed today. It helps improve the shape and size of the breasts. The surgery can be performed as an outpatient and usually takes one to two hours. With cosmetic breast augmentation, you can normally go home the same day once you have recovered from the surgery.

Implant breast reconstruction, on the other hand, is performed in two stages or procedures. The first step involves placing a tissue expander either above or below the chest muscle. Over the course of a few weeks, the tissue expander is “filled.” A second surgery is performed once the desired breast size is achieved. During the second procedure, the tissue expander is removed and the permanent implant is placed. Patients can expect to stay in the hospital overnight following the initial surgery. The second stage, which involves the placement of the permanent implant, can be performed as an outpatient.


What about DIEP flap reconstruction?

DIEP flap breast reconstruction makes use of a woman’s own tissue – including fat, muscle, and skin – to reconstruct the breast. Using your own tissue makes for the most natural-feeling breast. So if a woman desires a larger, softer breast, a flap is a very good choice. With flaps, the newly reconstructed breasts tend to age the same way as a natural breast. You obviously have to have enough tissue available to donate, whether it’s from your abdomen, thigh, or buttock. For women who are too thin, implants are a great alternative.

Some patients think that breast reconstruction with implants is the least painful option. However, studies have shown that this is not the case.

Breast reconstruction is typically recommended at the time of mastectomy, unless there are some special circumstances. At Breast Reconstruction Associates, we work tirelessly to refine reconstruction options. To help you better understand your options, contact your breast reconstruction specialist in Dallas today.