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Many of us know firsthand how devastating the diagnosis of cancer is. Currently, a woman has a one-in-eight lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. There are enough decisions and stresses associated with the proper and timely treatment of breast cancer without the need to decide about breast reconstruction, but considering the procedure before a mastectomy is an important part of the process.

The journey to wellness: Breast reconstruction surgery in Irvine and Ladera Ranch

Many women are comfortable with a prosthetic breast to appear symmetric in clothing, while others feel that reconstructing the breast and the complete restoration of feminine curves is essential in the journey to wellness. If you have a mastectomy scheduled or have undergone a lumpectomy or mastectomy for breast disease and are interested in learning about your options for breast reconstruction in Ladera Ranch, Dr. Ali Qureshi can meet with you to discuss your options. He is honored to work with breast cancer survivors in this important surgery and dedicates his extensive experience and expertise to helping you achieve beautiful new breasts.

How does breast reconstruction work?

Breast reconstruction surgery is your right, and most health insurance companies are required to cover the cost of this surgery under the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act. Unfortunately, some plans (such as government or church plans) may not be required to cover the surgery. If you have questions about whether you are covered, we can help. 

Some women undergo breast reconstruction in the same surgery as the mastectomy, while others may need to wait until all cancer treatments are completed. A nipple-sparing mastectomy may be performed, which allows for the natural nipple structure to be retained and transferred to the new breast mound. If the nipple structure is removed, nipple reconstruction can be performed as the final phase in the process.

Advanced techniques for breast reconstruction: Dr. Ali Qureshi

In recent years, breast cancer researchers have made considerable advances in preventing, diagnosing, and treating breast cancer and reconstruction afterward. Dr. Qureshi has been trained in the most current and advanced techniques for reconstructing defects after breast conservation therapy or total and modified-radical mastectomy. In addition to his work as a partner at South Coast Plastic Surgery, Dr. Qureshi also performs breast reconstruction at Hoag hospital.

To reconstruct both the breast and nipple-areolar complex to best match the size and shape of the unaffected breast, most breast reconstruction surgical plans will require a series of procedures or a staged approach. To learn more about Dr. Ali Qureshi, click here.

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What is the breast reconstruction procedure?

Treatment for breast cancer may involve the partial or complete removal of a single or both breasts. The goal of our Orange County breast reconstruction procedure is to restore a natural-looking breast, and this surgery can be performed after a mastectomy or to reshape a breast after a lumpectomy. You have two options for this surgery:


This approach involves placing implants to restore the breast mound, which may be silicone or saline. In some cases, a tissue expander is placed as the first step.

Skin flap surgery

This approach requires harvesting healthy tissue from another area of the body (usually the abdomen) and transplanting it to create the breast mound.

The recovery from skin flap surgery takes longer, as the donor area and the breast must both heal, but the new breast is created from natural tissue and has the softness and feel that only natural tissue provides.

The recovery from skin flap surgery takes longer, as the donor area and the breast must both heal, but the new breast is created from natural tissue and has the softness and feel that only natural tissue provides.

Meet Dr. Ali Qureshi, your breast reconstruction surgeon

Dr. Qureshi is interested in helping women through the breast reconstruction process and will work closely with you and your medical team to achieve a successful outcome with care, compassion, and personal support. There are numerous methods for breast reconstruction, and Dr. Ali will guide you through the decision-making process to find the right solution for you. He is among the most talented breast reconstruction surgeons in the region. He is widely recognized for his ability to create natural-looking results using the most advanced surgical techniques. When you work with South Coast Plastic Surgery, you will discover a patient-centered clinic where you will be cared for with compassion and personalized care throughout your journey.

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When should I have my breast reconstruction surgery?

Dr. Qureshi will work with your cancer surgeon in planning your reconstruction. When possible, it will be performed immediately after your mastectomy. This is called an “immediate reconstruction”. 

In other cases, a staged approach will be required. A tissue expander may be needed to stretch the skin to accommodate an implant. The expander has a port through which saline solution is added over time until the skin can accommodate the implant. This may require several months. 

Nipple reconstruction

The last step may be to reconstruct a natural-looking nipple. The skin is formed into a nipple shape with sutures, and as the final step, it will be tattooed to create the appearance of a nipple. The result is remarkably natural in appearance.

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Your Recovery

Your recovery period will vary somewhat, depending on which type of breast reconstruction procedure you had. You will spend 2-5 days recuperating in the hospital under observation to ensure the new tissue is thriving and all is well with your healing process. Once you return home, you will need to rest and focus on your recovery and building up your strength again. You will have physical therapy treatments to help regain your strength and safely perform daily activities. Expect your recovery period to take a total of about 6-8 weeks, at which point most women can return to work and typical activities.

Take the next step

Are you interested in learning more about your breast reconstruction options? To schedule a consultation, please fill out the form on this page or call (949) 894-4772. South Coast Plastic Surgery serves Irvine, CA, Ladera Ranch, CA, and the greater Orange County area.

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