How does Heights Plastic Surgery perform a breast reconstruction with implants? January 25, 2023 There are a variety of breast implant options to choose from and even different types of breast implant surgery. During one-stage immediate breast reconstruction, the implant is placed into the chest at the same time as the mastectomy is performed. However, two-stage reconstruction is commonly performed because it allows the breast skin to recover properly after a mastectomy and gives a better overall result. During this time, an expander will be placed under the skin and, in some cases, under the chest muscle. This expander will be gradually filled with a saline solution for about one to three months, giving your skin time to acclimate itself to the stretch in your breast area. During the second stage of this process, the expander will be removed, and a permanent implant will take its place. If radiation is needed, a delayed reconstruction may be an option. There may be temporary placement of a tissue expander, following by expansion and radiation. Six months following radiation, a tissue based option will be used to replace the expander, as implant reconstruction in the face of radiation is not a long term ideal option.