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Difference Between Breast Augmentation and Breast Reconstruction

Difference Between Breast Augmentation and Breast Reconstruction

Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Santa Monica

Breast reconstruction restores the shape and appearance of breasts following mastectomy. Although this procedure technically makes the breasts larger, it is not the same as a breast augmentation. A reconstruction of the breasts may use implants or other methods to restore the shape of breasts.

What is Breast Reconstruction?

Breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure to restore your breasts following mastectomy. Experienced cosmetic surgeon Dr. Eugene Kim performs breast reconstruction in two basic ways: with breast implants or with a tissue flap.

Although no surgical procedure can return your breasts to the exact way they looked before cancer treatment, reconstruction provides some women with increased self-confidence. If you are dissatisfied with the way your breasts will look after mastectomy, a breast reconstruction procedure may be the right way to reduce your dissatisfaction and renew your confidence in your body.

Breast Reconstruction with Implants

When using breast implants in reconstruction, Dr. Kim first expands the tissue of your breast mound. In an everyday breast augmentation procedure, the implant is inserted into a pocket in the breast. Because women who have had a mastectomy do not have adequate breast tissue to encase the breast implant, a device called a tissue expander is often used to gradually stretch the skin on your breast mound.

A tissue flap can also be used to restore breast shape. A flap of skin, fat and muscle is harvested from your abdominal area and used to create a breast. This technique does not use implants.

Deciding What’s Right for You

If you have undergone mastectomy, lumpectomy or another cancer treatment, or are about to in the near future, you may have questions about reconstruction. Our team wants to help you decide if the procedure is right for you.

During a consultation with Dr. Kim, you ask us your reconstructive breast questions and see photos of our breast surgery patients. Although you shouldn’t expect someone else’s breast reconstruction results to be identical to yours, looking at these photos can give you an idea of what reconstruction can realistically achieve.

To learn more about your breast reconstruction options in Beverly Hills, please contact Eugene Kim, M.D., Plastic Surgery to schedule a consultation.