As you might imagine, breast reconstruction surgery is performed a bit differently for women who have undergone a single (unilateral) versus double (bilateral) mastectomy as part of their breast cancer treatment. For breast reconstruction following a unilateral mastectomy, the affected breast mound is first rebuilt using either an implant, fat grafting, or a DIEP flap, and small adjustments are then made to the opposite side to achieve optimal symmetry. With bilateral mastectomies, the reconstruction procedure is performed as a mirror image on both sides to attain the most symmetrical, aesthetically pleasing outcome possible.
Ultimately, the decision to undergo a single or double mastectomy followed by a breast reconstruction is an extremely personal and complex topic. As such, determining the best approach to take in regard to your needs and desires should involve a lengthy and in-depth discussion with your chosen breast surgeon, as well as a board certified plastic surgeon. When consulted from the very beginning, these two (or perhaps more) physicians can work closely with you and one another to formulate and employ an effective treatment strategy for achieving exceptional results.
If you live in or near the Manhattan area, or if you are considering traveling to New York City to receive treatment for breast cancer, Dr. Broumand and/or I would be more than happy to speak with you about your various breast reconstruction options and help you make the correct decision for your unique situation.