There are 3 main types of reconstruction techniques:
1. Temporary expander followed by a permanent implant
2. DIEP/TRAM flap or a variation (taking tissue from lower abdominal wall).
3. Latissimus flap (using tissue from your back and swinging it around (to the chest)
These reconstructive techniques are combined with either a skin-sparing mastectomy (standard procedure removing nipple-areolar complex but preserving skin) or a nipple-sparing mastectomy.
Generally speaking the more complex the surgery the more natural the look and feel of the reconstruction. Often a breast reduction and/or lift of the opposite breast is required to provide symmetry.
Prior to making any decisions on reconstruction you will meet with the Plastic Surgeon and they will carefully review with you the various options and together the two of you will decide the best one for you. Photo courtesy of Dr. Kevin Bethke Appearance of patient without immediate reconstruction.