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Breast Reconstruction

Topic Overview

Reconstructive breast surgery restores the breast's appearance after mastectomy. Your surgeon will rebuild the shape of your breast using artificial implants or tissue from other parts of your body (autologous tissue reconstruction). This can be done at the same time as the mastectomy (immediate reconstruction) but is most often done at a later date (delayed reconstruction). The nipple and areola may also be recreated by your surgeon during breast reconstruction. Reconstructive breast surgery does not treat breast cancer.

Discuss reconstructive breast surgery with your doctor. Which type of procedure you decide on depends on:

  • Your personal preferences.
  • The size and shape of your breasts.
  • Details about your breast cancer.
  • How much skin was removed during surgery.
  • Whether you have had previous radiation therapy to the breast.
  • Whether radiation therapy will be used after surgery.

Related Information


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerJoy Melnikow, MD, MPH - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerDouglas A. Stewart, MD - Medical Oncology
Last RevisedAugust 18, 2009

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