Breast Reconstruction

Breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure performed to restore breasts after operations such as mastectomy and lumpectomy following breast cancer. Congenital deformities can also be restored.

What is Breast Reconstruction?

If you have lost part or all of your breast tissue due to a mastectomy, congenital deformities or other causes, you may consider breast reconstruction to address this problem. Flap or implant-based reconstruction or a combination of the two can be used to recreate your missing breast or breasts to near normal appearance, size and shape.

Breast reconstruction is a customized and individualized procedure in that there is no standard treatment plan. It is tailored according to the needs and goals of each patient. In general, breast reconstruction procedure involves two different methods. Flap reconstruction and implant-based reconstruction. The first one is uses your own tissue, and the second one uses breast implants to form new breasts. Breast reconstruction can be performed at the time of mastectomy, or it can be delayed.

Learn More

Problems & Solutions

Breast reconstruction is a complex procedure shaped according to each patient’s needs. There are different approaches to solve different problems.

A doctor told me I have insufficient tissue to support breast implants.

Yes, there are other options. In some cases, cancer treatments such as radiation or mastectomy leave...

I don’t have enough donor tissue to have abdominal-based flaps.

If you don’t have enough tissue in the lower abdomen for abdominal-based flaps, you may consider thigh-based...

Is it possible to use skin from the buttocks to reconstruct breasts?

Yes, it is possible. It is called gluteal-based flaps and it might be a good option for patients who have small...

What if I’m not suitable for flap reconstruction options?

In this case, you may consider implant-based reconstruction. After cancer treatments, if you have...

Testimonials

Experience speaks for itself! Hear out what our patients have said:

After getting diagnosed with breast cancer, I underwent mastectomy, and I was very unhappy with the absence of my breasts. My self-image and self-esteem were destroyed. Thanks to tissue-based reconstruction, I’ve regained natural looking breasts.
Esmeralda Castillo Breast Reconstruction
Naturally, I was not in a very good mood at the beginning of my breast reconstruction process. I’m very lucky to choose this clinic. They were really caring and polite. Their attitude made the process much easier for me. And the results made me really happy.
Tamara Day Breast Reconstruction

Why Clineca?

At Clineca, we take everything seriously. We understand how important the results are for you. We care about your health and comfort as much as you do. From beginning to end, we inform you, guide you, serve you, and help you.

01
Fully Equipped Hospitals

Surgeries are performed in prestigious fully equipped hospitals in which doctors from all specialties are present.

More info
02
Free Consultation

We provide free online consultation with highly experienced surgeons through video chat.

More info
03
Ensured Performance

We cooperate with the surgeons who perform a limited number of surgeries each week to ensure the best results.

04
7/24 Support

You can contact our agents 7 days 24 hours for your questions or support.

05
5-Star Hotels

We provide you with special discounts in luxurious hotels in the vicinity of the hospital. Your comfort is very important to us.

More info
06
VIP Transportation

We provide, via VIP vehicles, airport transfer and transportation between your hotel and the hospital before and after the surgery.

More info
07
Wellbeing Assistance

As Clineca, we will provide you with patient accompaniment, who will visit you every day in your hotel room during resting period to examine you and provide medical assistance if needed.

08
No Hidden Costs

The price includes fees of the surgeon and the anesthesiologist, operating room expenses, anesthesia, hospitalization, standard tests, medications and medical visits by a nurse.

09
All-Inclusive

The price includes hotel accommodation (including breakfast), airport transfer, transportation between hotel and hospital before and after the surgery.

More info
10
Optional Services & Products

Interpreter service, BBL pillow, neck pillow (rhinoplasty), eye mask (rhinoplasty), voltage converter, and others that will enhance your comfort and satisfaction.

11
Why Turkey?

Turkey is a leading player in medical tourism, and Istanbul, which is an extremely beautiful touristic city, is the plastic surgery capital of Turkey.

Step by Step Experience for International Patients

Clineca has a holistic approach. We believe that everything should be right for a satisfactory cosmetic surgery experience, including your days in İstanbul. That is why we plan every detail of your journey.

Knowing Each Other

Shortly after you fill the form, one of our agents will contact you. They will listen to you, ask you questions, and answer yours. They will inform you about the whole experience, in detail. If you want to go further, they will arrange an online consultation for you.

Online Consultation

You will have an online consultation with your surgeon through video chat. They will perform an online examination, listen to you about your wishes, and will provide you with in-depth information. They will help you to choose what the best approach to your case is.

Planning

We'll plan your whole journey, including the date of your surgery and where you'll stay at while you’re in Istanbul. We'll inform you about everything you need to know from what to have in your suitcase to what to do before your procedure.

Landing

Our VIP transportation vehicle will be ready at the airport before you land. The driver will be waiting for you. We'll drive you to the hospital. At the hospital, we will perform required blood tests and the COVID test. Then, we will take you to your hotel.

Examination & Surgery

The next morning, we will take you from your hotel to the hospital. Your surgeon will examine and inform you about the procedure. On the same day, you will have the surgery. You will stay at the hospital 1-2 day(s), depending on the procedure.

Resting & Recovering

After your stay at the hospital, we will drive you to your hotel. You will rest and recover at your hotel room during the following week. A wellbeing assistant will visit you every day to inform you, to examine, and to provide medical care.

Entertainment

We will gladly and proudly show you around our beautiful city. We will be more than happy to provide you with professional guidance in historical sightseeing. You can also learn from us where you can find anything from shopping to entertainment.

Follow-Up & Leaving

We will take you for your 1-week follow-up with your surgeon. They will examine you, remove your bandages if required, and inform you about what you should/shouldn’t do during your recovery period, in detail. Afterwards, we will drive you to the airport.

Recovery Period

During your recovery, we will be in touch. We will inform you, check on you, and answer your questions. You can reach us 7 days 24 hours. We will expect you to send photos periodically to follow your recovery period.

Who Is A Good Candidate For Breast Reconstruction?

You may be a good candidate if you:

  • Have had a mastectomy or lumpectomy
  • Want to improve symmetry after mastectomy if only one breast is affected
  • Have congenital deformities affecting your breasts
  • Have lost one or both breasts due to causes such as infection or trauma
  • Wish to reconstruct an entirely new breast or breasts, and body image after cancer treatments
  • Think that your psychological well-being will be enhanced via breast reconstruction
  • Think breast reconstruction helps to restore your confidence and feeling of femininity
  • Have realistic expectations
Learn More

What are the Expected Outcomes of Breast Reconstruction?

The outcomes of Breast Reconstruction can be analyzed in two main categories: aesthetical and psychological.

Aesthetical Outcomes

Breast reconstruction can address your aesthetical concerns about your breasts. Through breast reconstruction, your missing breast or breasts can be recreated. The size, the shape, and the proportions of your breasts can be enhanced to near normal appearance. Your breasts look better, and you may enjoy fitting into bras and bikinis. You may wear low-cut clothes that you want to wear.

Psychological Outcomes

The psychological outcomes of the procedure are as important as the physical ones. If you are not happy with the appearance of your breasts, it’s likely that you experience psychological distress, which can negatively affect your self-confidence and social life. After breast reconstruction procedure, you will have a more positive self-image. Your new recreated breasts will boost your self-confidence, and you will feel wholeness and femininity again.

How is a Breast Reconstruction Done?

Breast Reconstruction is a cosmetic surgery procedure performed to change the appearance of the breasts. It is customized according to needs and wishes of the patient.

Anesthesia

Foremost, you will receive anesthesia medications. Depending on the particular case, the surgery can be performed under either general anesthesia, or local anesthesia combined with a sedative. If it is performed immediately following mastectomy, general anesthesia is typically used but if it is a delayed reconstruction, the type of anesthesia may differ depending on the complexity of the reconstruction procedure. In either case, you will not feel pain and discomfort.

Surgery

Breast reconstruction is an entirely customized and tailored procedure, and different techniques can be used based on your individual needs and desired outcomes. Your new breasts can be constructed using your own tissue, or with the placement of an implant, or a combination of the two. There are generally two types of reconstructive procedures: Flap and Implant Reconstruction.*1

Flap Reconstruction

Flap reconstruction or tissue-based reconstruction is a more extensive procedure, but its results are generally lifelong, and it gives a more natural appearance and feeling. It matches with your existing contra-lateral breast. Tissue-based reconstruction involves performing what is known as “flap”. It requires tissue transferring (muscle, skin and fat) from other areas of your body. The most common method is to transfer tissue from the abdomen to the chest in order to recreate the breasts. The tissue transferred from the abdomen is reshaped into a breast.

Implant Reconstruction

Implant-based reconstruction usually consists of more than one procedure. Broadly, in the first stage, a tissue expander is placed under the chest muscle to stretch the remaining skin enough to cover the implant, and it generally takes 6 to 8 weeks to prepare the area for reconstructive surgery. In the second stage, the tissue expander is removed, and a silicone or saline breast implant is placed to reconstruct the breast. If you have enough skin to cover the breast, the implant can be directly placed. Implant-based reconstruction has a faster recovery and is simpler than tissue-based reconstruction. However, the implants cannot be permanent and would need to be replaced after 10-15 years.

Risks and Complications*2*3*4

Although various methods for both immediate and delayed breast reconstruction are feasible and safe, risks depend on the patient variables and the choice of procedure and these will be discussed during consultation to select the most appropriate and least-risky method. The overall complication rate was calculated to be 10.2%.

Contributor factors to complications:

Patient related factors:

  • BMI
  • Age
  • Preoperative breast volume
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Medications

Mastectomy site complications:

  • Wound infection
  • Wound dehiscence
  • Skin-flap necrosis
  • Hematoma
  • Seroma: It’s a build up of clear fluid, not dangerous, but can be painful and uncomfortable.

Flap-related complications:

  • Impaired flap perfusion
  • Partial flap necrosis
  • Partial flap failure
  • Total Flap necrosis
  • Total flap failure

Implant/expander related Complications:

  • Displacement of the implant/expander
  • Infection
  • Rupture

Surgeon Related Factors:

  • Incision
  • Operational procedure
  • Post-operative care

What To Expect During A Breast Reconstruction Recovery?

The First Week

After the operation, your breasts will be covered with bandages. Gauze can be applied to your incision sites. You may be asked to wear a support bra or an elastic bandage in order to minimize swelling and support your reconstructed breasts. A small tube may be placed under your skin to drain excess fluid. You may experience some numbness, tightness and discomfort that can be eased with pain medication. You should follow the post-op instructions precisely and use only the medications approved by your surgeon.

Later

You may expect swelling, bruising and soreness to last for 2-3 weeks. Depending on the reconstruction type, it may take 4 to 6 weeks to return regular activities, and it may take months to resume strenuous exercises, and to completely heal. You should take into consideration that your newly reconstructed breasts will probably not have the exact shape and sensation as before, but in time, some feeling should return. Scarring will be minimized with the help of advanced techniques, but keep in mind that some scarring is inevitable, but the visibility of the scars will fade over time. It may take time to get used to the reconstructed breasts but, in time, you will feel that reconstructive operation dramatically enhances your overall appearance and quality of life.

Guidance & Support

A wellbeing assistant will visit you in your hotel room every day during the first week after the surgery. We will expect you to be in our clinic for your post-op examination 1 week after the surgery, before you leave Istanbul. We will still follow your recovery process while you are away. Clineca will provide you with complete support and inform you about everything you need to know during your recovery. We will be with you from your consultation to the very end of your recovery.

Quote from the Doctor

“Through customizable procedures and the advanced techniques, now, we have a high potential to provide a more natural feeling and appearance to your breasts. After the operation, you will feel sexy and comfortable, and your self-esteem will be improved. No one will be able to tell that you had a breast reconstruction procedure.”

What to Do Before Breast Reconstruction?

During your online consultation, your surgeon will ask you questions about your medical history. It is of critical importance that you give your doctor every detail, from the conditions you might have to the operations you had in the past, to the medications and supplements you use, to minimize the risks the surgery could bring. They will also conduct a physical examination. Your surgeon will inform you about everything you need to know before the surgery. Clineca will provide you with complete guidance and support before your surgery. You will have a complete and detailed list of instructions.

Instructions

Most important instructions include,

  • Stop smoking at least 2 weeks before the surgery.
  • Avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (such as ibuprofen and aspirin) for 2 weeks before the procedure.
  • Avoid herbal remedies and supplements
  • Take only the medications approved by your surgeon.

What to Do After Breast Reconstruction?

What you need to do after the surgery will be explained to you in detail by your surgeon, and Clineca will provide you with all the support and guidance you need. Most important instructions include:

  • Do not smoke for at least 2 weeks after the surgery.
  • Do not forget to be seen for bandages, dressings or drain removal.
  • Take pain medication and antibiotics prescribed for you by your surgeon.
  • Do not take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications after the surgery until your surgeon approves using them.
  • Wear the elastic compression bra if your surgeon recommends that it is needed.
  • Limit the use of your arms; you should keep your elbows by your sides for 2 weeks post-op.
  • Follow all post-operative instructions, meticulously. Your surgeon will create a recovery plan individualized based on your Breast Reconstruction procedure and healing rate.
  • If anything unusual happens, please contact us.
  • And don’t forget to share some photos of your new look!

Quote from the Doctor

“People think breast reconstruction is only for cancer patients. That is not true. Congenital conditions, missing or deformed breasts caused by physical traumas or infections can be corrected through breast reconstruction.”

FAQ

We know you have many questions. Having realistic expectations and deciding to have a cosmetic surgery requires information. Here you can find answers to frequently asked questions about breast reconstruction.

Breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure performed to restore breasts after operations such as lumpectomy, mastectomy; and what is more, congenital deformities can be restored as well.
All surgical procedures have some risks. However, if it is performed by an experienced and talented surgeon, the risk of having a serious problem is very small.
You will receive anesthesia, so you will not feel any pain during the surgery.
The type of anesthesia may differ depending on the complexity of the reconstruction procedure. If it is performed immediately following mastectomy, typically, general anesthesia is used.
Surgery time depends on the number of procedures involved and the complexity of the reconstruction, so it varies. But in general, it takes about 2-6 hours to perform.
Recovery time depends on the techniques used and the complexity of the reconstruction procedure. Roughly, it may take 4 to 6 weeks to return regular activities, and it may take months to resume strenuous exercises and to completely heal.
If you have lost part or all of your breast tissue due to a mastectomy, congenital deformities or other causes, you are a good candidate for breast reconstruction.
Your new breasts can be reconstructed using your own tissue, or with the placement of an implant, or a combination of two procedures.
Your surgeon will inform you about what you should wear after the procedure. According to your needs, they can recommend you a surgical bra to wear for 2 weeks, and later, they will let you know when you can wear a traditional bra.
The total cost can vary according to type of surgical technique and procedure. You can contact us for detailed information.
You should keep your bandages and dressings dry and clean for at least 2 weeks after the operation. It is not recommended that you take normal showers for the first 2 weeks. Your surgeon will give you further instructions about your post-operation process.
You may need to take 2-3 weeks off work, but it can change from patient to patient. If you have light work or if you work from home, you can return to work sooner.
Ultimately, all methods require some sort of incision, which means scarring. However, there are techniques to keep the scarring to a minimum, and our partner surgeons can perform these techniques very well.
At Clineca, we are using 3D Imaging System. This technology provides a preview of your breasts before your breast reconstruction procedure begins.
Presumably, they will subside within 6 to 8 weeks. If you have implant-based reconstruction, the recovery time will be shorter.
The possible risks include infection, bleeding, poor healing, anesthesia risks. Keep in mind that loss of sensation, partial or complete loss of the flap may occur with flap surgery. Implant reconstruction includes the risk of implant rupture.
It may take months to resume strenuous exercise after surgery. Your surgeon will follow your recovery and will tell you when you are ready.
Your surgeon will prepare a detailed and customized plan by discussing your goals, desires, and expectations with you. They will ask you some questions about your medical history. It is of critical importance that you give your doctor every detail, from the conditions you might have to the operations you had in the past, to the medications and supplements you use, to minimize the risks the surgery could bring. They will also make a physical examination and provide treatment options, as well as before-after photos.
If you work with highly experienced and understanding doctors such as our clinic’s contracted doctors, you will absolutely be satisfied with your results. They and their staff work tenderly to provide high quality care and fascinating results. Moreover, as Clineca we provide support throughout your experience in Istanbul from medical equipments to 7/24 translators to providing you with wellbeing assistance.
Through breast reconstruction, your missing breast or breasts will be recreated. The size, the shape, and the proportions of your breasts will be enhanced to near normal appearance.

Problems & Solutions

Breast reconstruction is a complex procedure shaped according to each patient’s needs. There are different solutions to different problems that you can find below.

Yes, there are other options. In some cases, cancer treatments such as radiation or mastectomy leave insufficient tissue on the chest wall to support and cover breast implants. In that case, flap techniques can be preferred to reconstruct your breasts. Flap technique is also called as autologous or tissue-based reconstruction, and it is the most common method for breast reconstruction. In this method, tissue transferring (muscle, skin and fat) is required. The tissue from other areas of your body, generally the tissue from the lower abdomen, is transplanted to the chest to recreate the breasts. The tissue between your pubic bone and navel can also be used for this procedure. For further information, please contact us and make an appointment for online consultation. During your consultation, your surgeon will ask you some questions about your medical history. It is of critical importance that you give your doctor every detail, from the conditions you might have to the operations you had in the past, to the medications and supplements you use, to minimize the risks the surgery could bring. They will make a medical examination and determine the best option for your case accordingly.
If you don’t have enough tissue in the lower abdomen for abdominal-based flaps, you may consider thigh-based flaps. The thigh-based flap is a good option for the patients who have small to medium breasts. If you want to achieve a larger size, this procedure can be combined with implants. If you are suitable for this procedure, you can have thigh-based flaps for breast reconstruction. Thigh-based flaps are generally gracilis-based flaps, which are based on the gracilis muscle in the upper inner thigh. During the operation, fat, muscle, skin and blood vessels from the upper inner thigh is transplanted to the chest wall to reconstruct the breasts. Via microsurgery, blood vessels are meticulously reattached. Thigh-based flaps lead to a tighter inner thigh, similar to an inner thigh lift. Likewise, fat and skin from the back of the upper thigh is used to reconstruct the breasts via microsurgery in a PAP flap technique: a blood vessel called “profunda artery perforator” (PAP for short) which supplies this area of the thigh and muscle is not used so that PAP flap is a muscle-sparing technique. Scars are generally concealed in the crease between upper thigh and lower buttock.
Yes, it is possible. It is called gluteal-based flaps, and it can be a good option for patients who have small to medium breasts. In this procedure, fat and skin from the buttocks are used to recreate your breasts. In SGAP flap technique, which requires considerable microsurgical experience to harvest, the vessel called “superior gluteal artery perforator” (SGAP for short), skin, fat and tiny blood vessels from the upper buttock area are transplanted to the chest to reconstruct the breast, while sparing the muscle. Via microsurgery, blood vessels are meticulously reattached under microscope. Because skin and fat are moved to the breasts, the buttocks also gain a tighter appearance, as if you had a buttock lift. Similar to the SGAP flap, there is another gluteal-based flap technique called IGAP (inferior gluteal artery perforator) flap that uses tissues near the bottom of the buttocks, but it is not much favorable because the incisions are near the weight-bearing region that comes in contact to surfaces when you sit. The best placement for the incision depends on the surgeon’s experience and your buttock shape. In general, surgeons prefer to make incisions on your upper buttocks to hide the scars, as they are almost always covered by underwear or bikini bottoms.
In your case, you may consider implant-based reconstruction. After cancer treatments, if you have sufficient tissue on the chest wall to support implants, you can benefit from breast reconstruction with implants. There are lots of techniques used for breast reconstruction with implants. During your consultation, your surgeon will ask you questions about your medical history. It is of critical importance that you give your doctor every detail, from the conditions you might have to the operations you had in the past, to the medications and supplements you use, to minimize the risks the surgery could bring. They will make a medical examination and determine the best option for your case. Implant-based reconstruction usually consists of more than one procedure. In general, at the first stage, a tissue expander is placed under the chest muscle to stretch the remaining skin enough to cover the implant, and it generally takes 6 to 8 weeks to expand the tissue and prepare the area for reconstructive surgery. At the second stage, the tissue expander is removed, and a silicone or saline breast implant is placed to reconstruct the breasts. If you have enough skin to cover the breasts, the implant can be directly placed. Implant-based reconstruction has a faster recovery and is simpler than tissue-based reconstruction. However, the implants cannot be permanent and would need to be replaced after 10-15 years.
References

1. Kaya, B., & Serel, S. (2013). Breast reconstruction. Experimental oncology, 35(4), 280–286.

2. Brennan, D. (2021, April 12). What is a Seroma? WebMD. May 12, 2022. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/what-is-a-seroma

3. Browne, J.P., Jeevan, R., Gulliver-Clarke, C., Pereira, J., Caddy, C.M. and van der Meulen, J.H.P. (2017), The association between complications and quality of life after mastectomy and breast reconstruction for breast cancer. Cancer, 123: 3460-3467. https://doi.org/10.1002/cncr.30788

4. Gupta, V., Yeslev, M., Winocour, J., Bamba, R., Rodriguez-Feo, C., Grotting, J. C., & Higdon, K. K. (2017). Aesthetic breast surgery and concomitant procedures: Incidence and risk factors for major complications in 73,608 cases. Aesthetic Surgery Journal, 37(5), 515–527. https://doi.org/10.1093/asj/sjw238