Breast reconstruction is a physically and emotionally rewarding procedure for a woman who has lost a breast due to cancer or other condition. The creation of a new breast can dramatically improve a person’s self-image, self-confidence and quality of life. Although surgery can achieve a relatively natural-looking breast, a reconstructed breast will never look or feel exactly the same as the breast that was removed.
Breast reconstruction involves surgical reconstructive procedures in an attempt to restore a breast to near normal shape, appearance and size following mastectomy. This surgical procedure can be performed either using patient’s own tissue (autologous tissue) or prosthetic materials or combination of both. Breast reconstruction typically involves several procedures performed in multiple stages. It can either be:
- Immediate breast reconstruction – begins at the same time as mastectomy
- Delayed breast reconstruction – commences after the mastectomy and recovers from any additional treatment of breast cancer such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy.