Delayed breast reconstruction, by definition, occurs typically weeks to months, to years following a mastectomy for removal of the breast tissue. Immediate breast reconstruction occurs at the same time, same procedure immediately after a mastectomy.
Unlike immediate breast reconstruction, delayed breast reconstruction does not begin at the time of your mastectomy. Delayed breast reconstruction surgery may begin weeks, months, or even years after your mastectomy. Your plastic surgeon will begin reconstructive surgery at whatever time you and your care team decides is best given your unique situation. Two-stage reconstruction is the only procedural option if you elect to have delayed reconstruction surgery because the skin over your chest will have contracted and lost the breast shape in the intervening time.