In breast reconstruction surgery, a plastic surgeon recreates all or part of a breast that has been surgically removed. This is done using a breast implant, or tissue from another part of the body. The goal of reconstruction is to make breasts look natural and balanced when the patient is wearing clothing.
Candidates for breast reconstruction include women who have been:
Diagnosed with breast cancer and had or will have a mastectomy (surgical removal of a breast)
Diagnosed with breast cancer and had or will have breast conservation surgery, such as partial mastectomy or lumpectomy (surgical removal of the tumor and surrounding breast tissue)
Found to have a genetic mutation and will have prophylactic mastectomy (removal of non-cancerous breast to prevent cancer)
With improved treatments, breast reconstruction techniques and new medical devices, there are many options. Surgeons can recreate a breast at the time of mastectomy or after you have had a mastectomy. They can also correct misshapen breasts that may result after breast conservation surgery.
Deciding which reconstruction method is best for you will be discussed during your consultation with the plastic surgeon, who will consider your personal preferences, as well as body shape, prior surgeries, current medical condition and cancer treatment needs. All reconstructive options have both risks and benefits, and each option usually requires multiple procedures to reach a final result.