A Word About Breast Reconstruction
Since you are about to have breast surgery, you should be aware of breast reconstruction, a way to recreate a breast shape after a natural breast has been removed. Though this procedure is gaining in popularity, many women are still unaware of it.
Some women have reconstruction at the same time as their mastectomies; others have it done several months or even years later. Almost any woman who has had a mastectomy can have her breast reconstructed. Successful reconstruction is not hampered by radiation-damaged, thin, or tight skin, or the absence of chest muscles.
Reconstruction isn't for everyone, however. And it may not be right for you. After mastectomy, many women prefer to wear an artificial breast form, called a prosthesis, inside their brassieres.
Both a general surgeon and a plastic surgeon can help you decide whether to have breast reconstruction. If possible, this should be discussed before your surgery because the position of the incision may affect the reconstruction procedure. However, many women consider breast reconstruction only after surgery.
For more information on breast reconstruction, contact the National Cancer Institute for a copy of Breast Reconstruction: A Matter of Choice.