Reconstructive breast surgery rebuilds the breast’s appearance following a mastectomy or a breast-conserving surgery such as a lumpectomy. It is done to match the shape and size of the other breast. The nipple and areola can also be reconstructed.
Reconstruction is done by a plastic surgeon although many breast surgeons also perform the procedure.
Reconstructive breast surgery is done at the same time as a mastectomy or breast-conserving surgery (immediate reconstruction) or is performed at a later time (delayed reconstruction).
One method of reconstructive breast surgery uses implants that are saline-filled or silicone gel-filled. Another method uses tissue or muscle from other parts of the body to rebuild and reshape the breast.
Many women choose reconstructive breast surgery to restore their breast shape and make their chest look balanced.
With breast reconstruction, you will not have to wear an external prosthesis, a form placed inside the bra.
Factors to Consider
It is important to talk with your surgeon and a plastic surgeon experienced in reconstructive breast surgery. Factors to consider include:
- Reconstructive surgery is an additional surgery to a mastectomy or breast-conserving surgery
- Whether to have an immediate reconstruction or delayed reconstruction
- A reconstructed breast will not have similar sensations or feeling as a natural breast
- Does reconstruction impede chemotherapy or radiation therapy?
- Recovery time
- Follow-up care and rehabilitation
- How long will the reconstruction last?
- Does aging affect the reconstruction?
- Checking for reoccurrence of breast cancer by mammography with a reconstructed breast