Hagopian Plastic Surgery: Thomas Hagopian, MD 99 Krog St. NE, Unit C110
Atlanta, GA 30307 Phone: (404) 885-8542 Tuesday–Friday: 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
Understanding your breast reconstruction options after a mastectomy can provide some peace of mind during an emotionally trying time. Dr. Thomas Hagopian can help you regain confidence and a sense of normalcy through breast reconstruction at his Atlanta, GA, plastic surgery practice. His advanced techniques create beautiful results that can help you feel “whole” again.
Breast reconstruction surgery rebuilds a woman’s breast mound after mastectomy or lumpectomy using either breast implants or tissue, muscle, and skin that’s transferred from another area of her body. The technique and timing of the procedure are personal decisions made after consulting with both your primary breast surgeon and a plastic surgeon. Not all women who undergo a mastectomy choose to get breast reconstruction surgery. If you do, however, the techniques used today are much more advanced than those available in the past.
How Is Breast Reconstruction Performed?
Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, Dr. Hagopian is trained in advanced, proven breast surgery techniques that enable him to customize the procedure based on each patient’s needs and preferences. There are 2 general categories of breast reconstruction procedures:
Implant-based reconstruction uses either a silicone gel or a saline breast implant to rebuild the breast mound. In traditional breast reconstruction using implants, the physician performing the mastectomy inserts devices called tissue expanders beneath the chest skin and muscles. Patients return periodically for a few months following mastectomy to have the expanders incrementally filled with saline injections until the tissues have expanded and there’s adequate space for the implants. Dr. Hagopian then performs the reconstruction surgery using implants selected by the patient. In some cases, Dr. Hagopian can perform a direct-to-implant reconstruction as part of the mastectomy procedure, skipping the tissue expander stage.
Autologous Tissue or Flap Reconstruction
Autologous tissue or flap reconstruction involves transferring a “flap” of tissue and skin from the back, abdomen, or another area to the chest and creating a new breast mound. The modern “perforator flap” technique does not remove muscle at the donor site, making recovery quicker and less painful. Patients who choose this method enjoy having reconstructed breasts made of their own natural, living tissue.
For people with defects in their breasts after lumpectomy, rippling of their implants, or thin areas after reconstruction with implants or autologous tissue, Dr. Hagopian can use fat grafting to address these concerns. He can also recreate the areola and nipple after a patient heals from either reconstruction technique. This procedure may include medical tattooing to darken the areola for more natural-looking results.
Meet The Team
Dr. Thomas M. Hagopian
Plastic surgery is the perfect field for Dr. Hagopian, who has a knack for fixing things and helping people. He’s a former firefighter/paramedic, and he had a business building highly sought-after custom taillights in medical school. He met his wife, Nurse Hagopian, at Emory University, and they bonded over many shared interests, including a commitment to exceptional patient care.
Nurse Hagopian is an Atlanta native, a self-identified nursing ethics nerd, and an ANCC board-certified adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner. She’s passionate about studying informed consent, empowering fellow nurses to use their voices, and collaborating with people in addressing their aesthetic care needs.
Whether you’re undergoing a preventative mastectomy because you have a high risk of developing breast cancer, are facing mastectomy due to breast cancer, or have had a mastectomy in the past, breast reconstruction is an option for you and is covered by insurance. If you decide to get breast reconstruction surgery, it’s important to discuss all your options with your primary breast surgeon and plastic surgeon.
What Is Breast Reconstruction Recovery Like?
Your experience following breast reconstruction surgery depends on the type of procedure performed. The healing process after implant-based reconstruction is typically faster than a flap reconstruction. You likely will remain in the hospital for a few days before returning home and may have surgical drains inserted to remove extra fluid from the surgery site while it heals.
It usually takes several weeks before breast reconstruction patients return to their normal daily activities, but again your experience will depend on the type of procedure. We encourage patients to contact us during their recoveries with any questions or concerns they might have.
Learn More About Breast Reconstruction
Being fully informed about your options is important, and Dr. Hagopian explains them in a way that’s easy to understand. You can request a consultation using the online form or call us at
(404) 885-8542. Women considering breast reconstruction come to our Atlanta office from Inman Park, Druid Hills, Decatur, and throughout Georgia.