Breast Reconstruction Surgery

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Breast Reconstruction 

Houston Methodist’s experienced reconstructive surgeons provide advanced breast reconstruction after cancer in a caring and supportive environment, while allowing you to rehabilitate and regain femininity.


With seven locations across the Greater Houston area, our breast reconstruction surgeons offer expert care close to home or work.

Expertise in Breast Reconstruction Surgery

Our breast reconstruction surgery specialists are experts in:

  • Advanced breast reconstruction techniques, including use of your own excess abdominal tissue to reconstruct the breast or using implants
  • Mastectomy with or without immediate reconstruction, including nipple-sparing mastectomy
  • Microsurgery to restore form, function and sensation to the breast, as well as supermicrosurgery, which involves the connection of tiny blood vessels 
  • Sculpting to make the restored breast appear natural


Houston Methodist is one of only a few hospital systems around the country, and the only one in Houston, with expertise restoring breast sensation after a mastectomy. In addition to pioneering and mastering the complex techniques needed to reestablish breast sensation, our skilled microsurgeons continue to improve this procedure through clinical trials.

Types of Breast Reconstruction Surgery We Offer 

Our highly skilled surgeons perform the following breast reconstruction and restoration procedures:

  • Nipple-sparing mastectomy with immediate reconstruction  the skin of the breast and nipple are preserved and reconstruction takes place during mastectomy
  • Delayed reconstruction  reconstruction occurs some time later than mastectomy, typically in cases involving radiation after mastectomy 
  • Restoration  microsurgical connection of nerves to offer the possibility of regaining normal breast sensation
  • Flap procedures – transplants excess skin and fat, and sometimes blood vessels as well, from the lower abdomen or gluteal muscles to help reshape the breast

Learn More About Breast Reconstruction Surgery

Learn more about our innovative breast reconstructive surgery options.

Pre-Surgical Breast Reconstruction Consultation

Learn more about what to expect at a pre-surgical breast reconstruction consultation.

Breast Reconstruction: Mitsy's Story

After being diagnosed with breast cancer, Mitsy Stumpf met with Houston Methodist cancer specialists, who teamed with her to create an innovative treatment plan. She underwent a nipple-sparing mastectomy with immediate reconstruction and a sensation restoration procedure to give her the possibility of regaining normal breast sensation. Watch her story.

 Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy With Immediate Reconstruction

The nipple-sparing mastectomy with immediate reconstruction is a “game changer,” our surgeons say, because it is safe, effective and cosmetically appealing to patients. This innovative microsurgery, pioneered at Houston Methodist and performed at multiple locations across Greater Houston, can save patients’ lives and allows for more natural-looking results.


Does breast sensation change after surgery?

Usually after mastectomy, there will be a decrease in sensation. Many nerves in the nipple travel through the breast skin and tissue. During a mastectomy, that tissue is removed with those nerves. By using a patient’s own tissue during breast reconstruction, our microsurgeons can sometimes reconnect one or more nerves to improve sensation in the breast.

Who is a candidate for breast reconstruction?

Most breast cancer patients are candidates.

Who is a candidate for double mastectomy?

Patients with the BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 genes who have been diagnosed with breast cancer in one breast have the option for double mastectomy. Additionally, patients who carry a gene mutation but have not yet been diagnosed with the disease are candidates to reduce their risk of breast cancer.

Is breast reconstruction covered by insurance?

Yes, it is covered. In 1998, a law was passed requiring coverage.

Is reconstruction using implants possible?

Yes, we simultaneously perform a mastectomy and place an implant.

How will I look after breast reconstruction?

We can achieve a result that helps a woman feel feminine, attractive and like herself again.

What are the different flap procedure options available?

A flap procedure uses excess tissue from one location to reshape the breast. There are several different types of flap procedures after breast cancer surgery depending on where the skin is collected from, including:

  • Deep inferior Epigastric Perforator Flap (DIEP FLAP)  harvests excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen
  • Inferior gluteal artery perforator flap (IGAP FLAP)  use of tissue from the lower buttock without sacrificing the underlying gluteal muscles
  • Superior gluteal artery perforator flap (SGAP FLAP)  harvests tissue and blood vessels from the top buttock without injuring the underlying gluteal muscles
  • Superficial inferior epigastric artery flap (SIEA FLAP)  harvests small vessels from the fatty layer just below the abdominal skin for blood supply of a reconstructed breast

What is a nipple-sparing mastectomy with immediate reconstruction?

Nipple-sparing mastectomy with immediate reconstruction is a revolutionary way to offer mastectomy. We take out breast tissue without removing the breast skin and nipple. We reconstruct the breast during the same operation. This allows us to perform the reconstruction in a way that improves results and makes the breast look more natural.

What options exist for patients who want to use their own tissue for breast reconstruction?

Options depend on whether a patient has excess tissue, especially around the stomach, that can be used for reconstruction.

How long is recovery after mastectomy and reconstruction?

Recovery depends on the procedure. It usually takes two to four weeks before a patient can go back to light work or a desk job.

How do I find the right doctors?

It’s best to find doctors who work as a team, typically an oncologist, plastic reconstructive surgeon and breast surgeon. Our teams of doctors offer the most advanced breast reconstruction techniques, and are located throughout the Houston area, which means you don’t have to go far to find expert care. We can help you continue to have a full, beautiful life and put cancer in the past.

Will a patient need surgery on the healthy breast to achieve symmetry?

It depends on the kind of reconstruction performed. When we look at implant-based reconstruction, many times the other breast needs something done to make it look symmetrical. When we use a patient’s tissue, we have more opportunities to make the breast look like the natural breast. It’s important to discuss these concerns with your doctor.

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