What is Breast Reconstruction

Breast cancer affects nearly 1 in 6 women. We all have a friend or family member who has been affected. If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, this may be an emotional time for you. You are learning so much about something that you never wanted to know about. 

Conversations with Dr. Ridgway will give you an opportunity to express your goals and help her guide you through your breast reconstruction options at a pace that’s comfortable for you. We want to make this process as painless as possible for you - both physically and emotionally. Being there with you on your journey enables Dr. Ridgway to help you determine whether there may be a silver lining to be found in your experience, creating an opportunity to plan a reconstruction that best fits your image of yourself.

Designed to restore one or both breasts shape, appearance, symmetry, and size following mastectomy or lumpectomy, breast reconstruction may involve multiple staged procedures and can either be performed with your surgeon at the time of mastectomy or lumpectomy or be delayed until a later date.

The important thing to remember is that the timing is up to you. Breast cancer takes both a physical and emotional toll. Your decision to have your breasts reconstructed is as personal as your experience, and you can have it performed whenever it is most comfortable, whether that is immediately or years into the future. 

Dr. Ridgway will work with you to determine the specific type of reconstruction that best fits your goals, age and body type.


If you have had a mastectomy, your options may include: implant based reconstruction or flap reconstruction. Implant reconstruction relies on breast implants to help form a new breast mound. Flap reconstruction uses the patient's own tissue from another part of the body to form a new breast. Dr. Ridgway will work with you to consider how your unique circumstances will determine which option is best for you, whether you may want your breasts to be bigger, smaller or more symmetric than before your mastectomy (including surgery to lift, reduce or augment an opposite breast). 


You may want to talk with Dr. Ridgway to determine if a breast reduction or breast lift might be right for you when you have your lumpectomy. This may result in improved symmetry postoperatively. Patients undergoing lumpectomy and radiation often request symmetry surgery after the radiation has been performed but radiated tissue is more prone to healing problems and infection. Your discussions with Dr. Ridgway will help you determine if it might be in your best interest to have a abreast lift or reduction performed at the same time as your lumpectomy.  

Know Your Options

We’re here to help you navigate through the options available to you. Ridgway Plastic Surgery offers a range of breast reconstruction procedures, whether you are first considering your options or if you are unhappy with a prior surgery. And it is important to know that the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 guarantees insurance coverage for mastectomy reconstruction following a breast cancer diagnosis. 

It is never too late to learn about your breast reconstruction options if you have had a lumpectomy or mastectomy.
— Dr. Emily Ridgway



2-3 hours (depending on extent of procedure)




Usually Outpatient


Back at work in 4-7 days.
Resume light exercise at 2 weeks.
Resume strenuous activity at 6 weeks.
8-12 weeks for swelling to resolve.