Reconstructive Timeline

Key Points for Breast Reconstruction Patients in Visits with Austin Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

1. Initial Constulation

Immediate reconstruction at the time of mastectomy can be scheduled within one to three weeks if:

  • Patient was recently diagnosed with breast cancer
  • Patient needs a mastectomy as soon as possible
  • Coordinated with our oncological breast surgeons

Delayed reconstruction is usually scheduled three to four months after initial consultation if:

  • Patient has previously had a mastectomy
  • Patient has a congenital chest wall deformity (for example, Poland's syndrome)
  • Patient has suffered breast implant failure from a previous reconstruction

Initial consultation is usually about an hour:

  • Review patient history and discuss all options
  • Physical examination
  • Clinical photography
  • Discuss when to schedule surgery
    Review instruction packets
  • Determine which lab tests will be needed

2. Pre-Op Visit (May be Combined with Initial Consultation in Some Cases)

Your pre-op visit will usually last about 30 minutes:

  • Review consent forms if not completed at initial consultation
  • Review CT-A scan results, if applicable
  • Review the plan and discuss remaining concerns
  • In some cases, apply operative markings
  • Review pre-operative instructions:
    • Nothing to eat or drink after midnight
    • When to arrive and where to check in
    • Instructions for family members

Austin Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

  • Known for natural-looking aesthetic results in breast reconstruction and cosmetic surgery.
  • Elected by peers for inclusion in Texas Monthly's Texas Super Doctors®: Rising Stars listing.
  • Reconstructed over 6,000 patients, including more than 2,500 DIEP flap reconstructions.
  • 4.9-star average rating over hundreds of reviews for reconstructive and cosmetic surgery.
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Photo to use for APRS block

3. First Stage Reconstruction

Living tissue reconstruction requires a three-day inpatient hospital stay. All other reconstructive procedures are normally outpatient (go home the same day).

First post-op visit:

  • Normally one week after surgery
  • Usually 15 to 30 minutes
  • Check reconstructive sites
  • Remove drains, if ready
  • Instruction for wound care and activity
  • Review care instructions

Follow-up visits:

  • Usually 15 to 30 minutes
  • Check reconstructive sites
  • Suture removal, if indicated
  • Expand tissue expander, if applicable
  • Initiate plan for second stage of reconstruction, if necessary
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Download Our Breast Reconstruction Post-Operative Care Guides

We've compiled detailed post-operative care instructions to best equip our breast reconstruction patients throughout their recovery process. To ensure the best and safest recovery, your plan encompasses appropriate prescriptions and clear directions towards maintaining your comfort to get you back to normal life and activity as soon as possible. Individual patients respond uniquely, and the type of procedure may differ, but these basic guidelines will help you along your journey.

4. Second Stage Reconstruction (When Necessary)

At least 12 weeks after first stage reconstruction; may be delayed until completion of chemotherapy or radiation.

Outpatient hospital procedure:

  • Nipple reconstruction
  • Breast contouring to refine shape
  • Donor site scar revision or contouring, if needed
  • Reduction, augmentation, or breast lift to opposite side, if needed for symmetry

Pre-op visit:

  • Usually about 30 minutes
  • Discuss patient goals and concerns, refine plan
  • In some cases, apply pre-surgical markings
  • Clinical photography
  • Review consent forms
  • Review instructions, time to arrive, and directions to check in at hospital

5. In-Office Nipple Tattooing

  • At least eight weeks after final reconstructive surgery
  • Treatment time for initial tattooing is 2 hours; touch-up appointments are one hour and 15 minutes
  • Review care instructions
  • Schedule follow-up appointment

6. Follow-Up Appointment

  • About four to six weeks after tattooing
  • Touch-up procedure is usually indicated
  • Clinical photography
  • Discuss scheduling annual follow-up visits, if applicable
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Contact Austin Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery by calling (512) 815-0123 or sending a message online.

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