Breast Reconstruction

A mastectomy is a potentially life-saving breast cancer treatment. But the procedure can leave you feeling asymmetrical or incomplete.

At SP Plastic Surgery, LLC, we offer two forms of breast reconstruction: reconstruction with implants and the DIEP flap technique.

Board-certified plastic surgeon Stephanie Peng in Minnetonka, MN, takes measures to reduce operating room time and minimize discomfort.

How Can Reconstructive Surgery Help You?

Restore Your Shape

In some cases, the only way to effectively treat breast cancer is to remove one or both of the breasts. Although you can opt for an external prosthesis, breast reconstruction can restore, and in some cases improve, the figure you had before breast cancer.

Improve Your Self-Esteem

Symmetrical breasts can help you feel more confident, no matter what you wear. Whether you choose saline or silicone implants or an autologous flap (a technique that uses your own tissue), you can expect beautiful, natural-looking results. In fact, Dr. Peng also provides traditional nipple reconstruction techniques in collaboration with artists who use tattoo techniques to create the appearance of the nipple and areola.

Want to Learn More About Your Options? Request a Consultation With Our Plastic Surgeon Today

Dr. Stephanie Peng

If you've been faced with a breast cancer diagnosis, you need a qualified, compassionate team on your side. Dr. Stephanie Peng is a renowned plastic surgeon who has helped many women restore their figures after breast cancer. In addition to being board-certified, she is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Our Minnetonka plastic surgery office is conveniently located just outside Minneapolis, Minnesota. To schedule a consultation at her practice, request an appointment online or call us:

(763) 999-4170

"She did an amazing job on my reconstruction!"

"First off I can't thank Dr. Peng enough for making me whole again! She did an amazing job on my reconstruction! I truly can not thank her enough! I am so very grateful I chose her to perform my reconstruction surgery. Thank you, Dr. Peng, and your amazing and caring team. Having breast cancer and going through chemo, surgery, and radiation was a long and scary process. However, your team was the light at the end of my journey. I truly can't thank you enough."  Marcy Riley

We Get to Know You and Your Goals What to Expect During Your Consultation

The first step towards restoring your figure is to request a consultation at our Minnetonka, MN, plastic practice. Dr. Peng will review your aesthetic goals to create a treatment plan that helps you achieve your desired outcome. You can expect to discuss your surgical options, review the risks and benefits of surgery, and have any questions answered.

Is Breast Reconstruction Surgery Covered by Insurance?

Woman paying bills

Many women affected by breast cancer are worried that they can't afford to work with a plastic surgeon for their treatment. But women with breast cancer are protected by the law. 

The Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 (WHCRA) requires health plans and insurance companies that cover mastectomies to also provide coverage for reconstructive procedures after a mastectomy. According to this law, all stages of breast reconstruction must be covered, including cosmetic concerns and complications.

With help from your insurance, you can afford the highly personalized and professional care of Dr. Peng, a top plastic surgeon, at our Minnetonka office. Our practice can work with your insurance provider on your behalf to help you maximize your coverage and get the most from your benefits.

Dr. Peng's Care Creates 5-Star Results

"I have been a patient of Dr Peng's since October 2017 and she has always been super polite, professional, and caring! She listens first, always makes me feel like she wants to understand me and my needs before making any suggestions for next steps. Others have come with me to my appointments with Dr Peng and have been impressed with your skill and understanding. Being Dr Peng's patient has been one of the wisest decisions in my life."

Are You Ready to Take
the First Step?
Contact Our Minnetonka Practice 

Although it is a potentially life-saving procedure, a mastectomy can leave you feeling self-conscious and less like yourself. Dr. Peng wants to help you restore your curves and confidence by giving you natural-looking results that will make you feel at home in your body again.

Our breast reconstruction options can enhance your bustline, position the nipple in a natural-looking location, and restore your feminine contours. When performed by an experienced plastic surgeon like Dr. Peng, you will receive individualized care to result in your desired look. 

Contact our Minnetonka, MN, practice today to request your consultation.

(763) 999-4170

Implant-Based Reconstruction

If you choose to undergo reconstruction with implants (similar to breast augmentation surgery) at our Minnetonka office, Dr. Peng will place a tissue expander and Alloderm® donor tissue between your pectoralis muscle and chest wall at the same time as your mastectomy. Although the process of breast reconstruction surgery with implants varies from person to person, you can generally expect several steps:

1st Surgery

During your mastectomy, Dr. Peng will place a tissue expander and a product called Alloderm on the chest wall. The expander will stretch the skin to accommodate an implant, while the Alloderm tissue will protect your skin from trauma and keep your expander in the proper position. In some cases, the expander is partially filled at this time.


If you wish to increase your breast size, similar to breast augmentation, you may begin the expansion process two to four weeks after your initial procedure. Every one to two weeks, you will visit our office to have saline slowly injected into the expander via a small injection. Because your muscle tissue and skin are expanding during the process, it is normal to feel some tightness after each appointment, but this sensation should resolve within a couple of days. In most cases, expansion is complete two months after the placement of the expander.

2nd Procedure

Approximately four to five months after your initial surgery (as long as chemotherapy and radiation therapy for breast cancer are complete), Dr. Peng will schedule your second phase. During the procedure, Dr. Peng will remove the expander and replace it with a permanent breast implant. The Alloderm tissue will be absorbed by your body and help your implant stay in place.


Most women need about four to six weeks to recover from their surgeries. During this time, it's important to rest and take it easy. If you have a physically demanding job, you should take the full six weeks off of work. Dr. Peng will provide detailed recovery instructions prior to your surgery so you can make the necessary preparations and arrangements.

Breast Reconstruction with a DIEP Flap

The second type of breast reconstruction we offer at our Minnetonka office is deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) flap surgery. The deep inferior epigastric artery (DIEA) runs through the abdomen, branching out into small perforators that penetrate through the muscles and fat into the overlying skin. When abdominal tissue is removed, the accompanying main artery and its DIEPs are also removed with it. These DIEPs can then be connected to the internal mammary artery, allowing for blood flow to the new breast mound. Because there is blood flow to the area, the belly tissue has a better chance of survival in the chest wall.

Breast reconstruction with a DIEP flap is a good option for women who want to use their own tissue to restore the breast. DIEP reconstruction may be performed at the same time as a mastectomy or at a later date. During a DIEP reconstruction, Dr. Peng will use skin and fat from the lower abdomen to reconstruct the breast mound.

Breast reconstruction using the flap technique can take anywhere from 6-8 hours for unilateral reconstruction and 10-12 hours for bilateral reconstruction. Although breast reconstruction with a DIEP flap varies from patient to patient, you can generally expect:

Extraction of Abdominal Tissue

Dr. Peng will carefully remove skin and fat from the lower abdomen through a horizontal incision across the stomach.

Breast Incisions

The type of breast incisions Dr. Peng creates will depend on what type of mastectomy you have.

Creation of DIEP Flap

Dr. Peng will reconstruct the breast mound by connecting the DIEA and blood vessels to their new home in the chest wall. The remaining tissue flap will be tucked under the skin to create a reconstructed breast.


The DIEP flap will then be sewn into the breast skin with absorbable sutures, creating a new breast mound. 


Patients who opt for the flap technique will need to stay in the hospital for 4-6 days. During this time, nurses will check the flap every hour to ensure that the newly connected blood vessels have adequate blood flow. You will receive your fluids intravenously for the first day, and you can eat and drink after the second day. Although recovery varies, most patients can fully return to their normal activities in six weeks. 

Which Type of Breast Reconstruction Surgery Is Right for You?

Woman's chest after breast reconstruction

The decision to undergo a breast reconstruction procedure is a very personal choice. 

If you prefer to use your own tissue rather than a lifelong prosthesis or breast implant (which will need to be replaced every decade or so), reconstruction with a tissue flap may be a better option for you. Flap reconstruction also eliminates the risk of complications like implant rupture and capsular contracture. If you've had complications with your implants in the past, the flap technique may also be better suited for you. During your consultation, we can also discuss incorporating treatment to reconstruct the nipple and areola.

Still not sure which option is right for you? Call to request a consultation with our plastic surgeon:

(763) 999-4170

Our board-certified surgeon stays up to date on the latest tools and techniques in plastic surgery. She continually provides the most advanced care that leads to the best results.

Still Have Reservations? Rest Assured

Woman wearing bra

Many women are hesitant to undergo reconstruction with a DIEP flap because of the long anesthesia time and the six-week recovery. But Dr. Peng uses a two-surgeon approach to reduce operating room time. To make the procedure as comfortable as possible, she also provides surgery candidates with:

  • Medication before surgery to ensure your complete comfort
  • A catheter in the donor site that infuses local anesthetic into the abdominal incision for three days after surgery

For many patients, the benefits of a DIEP breast reconstruction are well worth the longer surgical time and extensive recovery. But no matter what type of reconstruction you choose, Dr. Peng will provide a detailed list of pre- and post-operative instructions at our Minnetonka office to guide you through a safe surgery and smooth recovery. She will also provide full disclosure about the risks of each type of surgery to help you make an informed choice.

Does Breast Reconstruction Leave Scars? Yes, but We Work to Minimize It

Just like with any surgery, scarring should be expected. Breast reconstruction patients, whether undergoing implant or autologous tissue reconstruction, will have scars around the breast and nipple. Though any scarring will fade with time, it will never completely disappear. Dr. Peng strives to minimize visible scarring by placing incisions in strategic locations that can be easily hidden.

During your consultation, you and Dr. Peng can review your options and determine the best locations for your incisions, depending on the type of breast reconstruction surgery you choose.

Minnetonka, MN, Patients Love Dr. Peng


Audrey C


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The ladies there are always a pleasure and very friendly and Dr.Peng is Amazing and the work is Great!

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MK Lee


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I love the staffs and Dr Peng. They answer all my questions. I would recommend anyone to go there.

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During a consultation at her Minnetonka office, you can find out for yourself why so many trust Dr. Peng to help realize their goals through plastic surgery.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Reconstruction

Medical professional consulting with breast reconstruction patient

Dr. Stephanie Peng is a surgeon who believes patient education is key to the success of breast reconstruction, and she wants to make sure you have all the answers you need to make an informed choice about your treatment. If you have questions, the very best way to get the information you need is to schedule a consultation. Until then, Dr. Peng has provided answers to some of the questions patients ask most often regarding breast reconstruction at her Minnetonka plastic surgery office:

  • How painful is delayed breast reconstruction?

    Most patients require prescription pain medication for 3-10 days after breast reconstruction surgery.
  • Is breast reconstruction covered by insurance?

    Breast reconstruction after a cancer diagnosis is almost always covered by insurance, even many years after the initial diagnosis. Breast reconstruction for non-cancer reasons may not be covered by insurance, and our staff is adept at navigating the process for prior authorization from your insurance company.

  • How long after radiation can I have breast reconstruction?

    Patients can typically have breast reconstruction six to 12 months after radiation is finished.

  • Can a reconstructed breast develop cancer?

    It’s unlikely for a breast reconstruction to develop another breast cancer. However, if you notice any new swelling, enlargement, or stiffness in the reconstructed breast, you should contact your plastic surgeon for an examination.

  • Do you perform nipple reconstruction?

    Yes. Dr. Peng uses traditional techniques to reconstruct the nipples, and works with artists in the community who provide tattooing to create a natural-looking areola and other details.

  • How should I prepare for my consultation with Dr. Peng?

    Dr. Peng wants your consultation to be as comfortable, thorough, and comfortable as possible. Plan to wear comfortable clothes, and expect to be photographed as part of planning your procedure. You should be sure to bring your insurance card along. You should also be aware that you might start your consultation with one of Dr. Peng’s assistants before meeting directly with Dr. Peng.

A Kind Review From a Thankful
Minnetonka, MN, Patient

"Dr. Peng is a wonderful doctor who is communicative, professional, and extremely reassuring. If you need a hand injury specialist I cannot reccomend her enough. I always feel well informed and listened to. She clearly cares for and respects her patients." Thrunk Chudham
SP Plastic Surgery, LLC

SP Plastic Surgery, LLC

Dr. Stephanie Peng is a board-certified plastic surgeon who closely partners with every patient to achieve their aesthetic goals. She is affiliated with various national organizations, including: 

  • American Society of Plastic Surgeons
  • American Board of Plastic Surgery

Dr. Peng provides patients with life-changing surgical care and transformative results. To request a consultation with our doctors, contact our Minnetonka office online or call us at (763) 999-4170.

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