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Breast Reconstruction

When you undergo treatment for breast cancer or another breast condition, the changes to your body can be significant, leaving you with permanent reminders of your experience. Breast reconstruction is a way to enhance the appearance of your breasts after lumpectomy or mastectomy and restore a more familiar body contour.

Dr Edmund Ek is a specialist in plastic and reconstructive surgery, with a particular interest in breast reconstruction techniques. Dr Ek is passionate about helping his patients restore their appearance and their quality of life, particularly after they have just undergone a challenging diagnosis and treatment process.

If you have a lumpectomy or mastectomy planned, now might be the right time to schedule a consultation with Dr Ek to determine whether your breast reconstruction can happen at the same time or in a staged process.

To get more information about breast reconstruction in Melbourne, contact (03) 8419 0900 to enquire about flap or breast implant options. Our office will be happy to book an appointment with Dr Ek to discuss your surgical choices and the cost involved. We will take ample time to create a personalised reconstruction plan for your needs.

Your Breast Reconstruction Consultation

Determining whether surgery is a viable option will be a decision that you, your loved ones and Dr Ek will make together. Dr Ek works closely with several of Melbourne’s top breast oncological surgeons and will liase directly with your breast surgeon to ensure you receive care in a timely and co-ordinated manner.

In most cases where there are no extenuating circumstances, reconstruction may be recommended at the same time as breast cancer treatment. In other situations, such as when you are undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy, the surgery may need to take place later.

At every stage, the process of breast reconstruction is a collaborative one – Dr Ek will listen to your input while offering his expert opinion when necessary to guide you to make appropriate decisions for your health and your body. He will also provide photos of some of his past patients to help you visualise the results you might achieve and give you a realistic idea of what breast reconstruction can do for you. He will answer any questions you or your loved ones might have to ensure you are comfortable and confident moving forward with the surgical process.

Understanding the Breast Reconstruction Procedure

There are two breast reconstruction techniques that Dr Ek commonly performs:

Flap Reconstruction

During this type of reconstruction, Dr Ek will take your body tissue (common donor sites are your lower abdomen – DIEP flap – or inner thigh – TUG flap) and attach that tissue to the breast to simulate a new shape and contour. This procedure typically involves complex microsurgery to create a healthy, natural appearance to the breast. While initially a longer and more complex operation, flap reconstruction is advantageous in that it uses your own skin and tissue to create a look that is both natural and long-lasting.

Breast Implants Reconstruction

An implant is used during this procedure to restore the shape and fullness of the breast. Implant reconstruction in Melbourne requires less surgery and recovery time than flap reconstruction. This will typically involve silicone implants, which come in an extensive array of sizes and shapes to accommodate the body proportions of every patient. These devices can restore a silhouette very similar to what you had before your lumpectomy or mastectomy.

Implant based reconstruction can be performed in a single stage (Direct-to-Implant) fashion or in a more traditional two stage (Expander – Implant) fashion depending upon your cancer treatment and reconstructive goals. This will be discussed with you at your consultation and the pros and cons of all approaches will be explained in detail to determine your reconstructive plan.

Dr Ek regularly travels overseas to breast surgical meetings to keep up to date on the latest reconstructive techniques, present his own clinical work and evolve his practice to ensure his patients are always receiving the highest standard of care. He will take into consideration your preferences, the shape of the remaining breast (when applicable) and your overall body shape to personalise your surgical plan.

Understanding the Breast Reconstruction Procedure

Breast reconstruction is usually performed under a general anaesthetic at one of Melbourne’s major private hospitals. Both flap and implant-based reconstructive surgery take approximately two to three hours to complete. Dr Ek will take care to place incisions where visible scarring after surgery will be minimised, but scarring is an expected part of any surgical procedure.

Postoperative recovery varies according to the nature of the reconstruction; however, most patients are able to return home within 5-7 days of surgery, and return to full activities within 4-6 weeks.

Making an Informed Decision

Undergoing plastic surgery is a significant decision that should be made after careful consideration and thorough understanding of all aspects involved, including the potential risks, recovery process and expected outcomes. We’re here to support you every step of the way, providing all the information you need to make informed choices about your care.


We strongly believe that natural body variation is a part of human individuality and should be respected. Plastic surgery is a personal choice and should never be seen as a necessity to ‘fix’ what’s naturally occurring. The decision to undergo a procedure should not be driven by societal pressures or ideals, but by your personal preferences and realistic expectations.


Each surgical procedure carries a unique set of inherent risks. These can include, but are not limited to, infection, adverse reactions to anaesthesia, haematoma, unfavourable scarring, blood clots, nerve damage and dissatisfaction with the aesthetic result. It is important to note that this is not an exhaustive list, and other complications may arise. Some complications can be life-threatening or require additional surgery.

Dr Ek will discuss the risks of your chosen procedure in detail during your consultation.


Recovery times for plastic surgery vary widely based on the specific procedure and the individual patient. The recovery process can be demanding; it requires time, support and often changes in lifestyle, such as time off work or temporary restrictions on activity.

To aid recovery, Dr Ek and his team will provide specific post-operative instructions, including the potential need for recovery services like massages or wearing compression garments. Adhering to these instructions and attending all scheduled follow-up appointments are integral to your healing process.


Results from any surgical procedure are influenced by numerous factors, including your age, overall health, skin quality, lifestyle habits and genetic factors. As such, outcomes can vary greatly between individuals, and it is critical to have a realistic understanding of what can be achieved.

If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with Dr Ek, who will be happy to discuss these considerations in detail.

What Results or Outcomes May Be Achieved

The primary goal of breast reconstruction is to restore one or both breasts to near normal shape, size and symmetry. Modern breast reconstruction techniques often enable surgeons to create a breast that closely matches a patient’s natural breast, including the creation of a nipple and areola, if desired.

If only one breast is affected, it alone may be reconstructed. In addition, a breast lift, breast reduction or breast augmentation may be performed for the opposite breast to improve symmetry.

Please note that outcomes of breast reconstruction surgery can vary significantly between individuals due to factors such as overall health, the type of mastectomy, the presence of other medical conditions and the chosen reconstruction technique. It’s important to discuss your personal goals, options and potential results with Dr Ek during your consultation.

To enquire about breast reconstruction using either flap or breast implants, contact Dr Ek in Melbourne today on (03) 8419 0900. We will be happy to book your consultation, answer any questions you have and discuss the costs involved with this procedure.