Breast reconstruction following a mastectomy is now an integral component of the treatment process for breast cancer.
Every woman having treatment for breast cancer, and for whom reconstruction is an option, should have the opportunity to discuss reconstruction with a plastic surgeon even if it means going to another hospital to have it.
If you need to have surgery to remove a breast cancer, reconstructive surgery aims to rebuild your breast, either wholly or partially, to match the normal breast in both shape and size. It also aims to improve your body image and self-esteem, helping the process of recovery on a physical, emotional and psychological level.
Current evidence suggests that breast reconstruction, either at the same time or after cancer treatment, does not in any way increase the chances of the cancer recurring.
There are several surgical ways to reconstruct a breast, some relatively simple, some quite complicated.
It is essential that you are assessed and informed of the technique that would be best for you by someone who knows about all the options. You should be able to choose your preferred option, even if it means travelling to another hospital to have it carried out. As awareness of the range of choices and benefits of breast reconstruction grows, there is more demand for it: as a result, plastic surgeons have become an integral part of the teams treating women with breast cancer
Mastectomy is still the best treatment for women with certain types of breast cancer. Your breast cancer surgeon will discuss this with you, but generally a mastectomy is recommended if
Another important consideration is whether your other breast can be matched as it is or if it would be better to adjust it, perhaps by lifting it or making it smaller. All of these things will be taken into account by the plastic surgeon before a decision can be made as to what options are available for you to choose from.