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The following is general information on breast reconstruction.
It is not medical advice nor was it authored by a medical professional.
(Non-medical information of a general nature.)
Breast reconstruction refers to an operation or a series of surgical procedures performed to recreate a breast after the removal of one or both breasts. The most common cause of the need for reconstructive breast surgery is after cancer surgery for removal of a breast tumor. Less common causes for breast reconstruction include trauma to the breast or an abnormality which occured during breast development. Patients who have tested positively for the BRCA1 gene or BRCA2 gene / genes may opt for breast reconstruction after a preventative mastectomy (sometimes called a prophylactic mastectomy or preventative breast removal).
Learn more about breast implants.
Questions to Ask Your Surgeon about Breast Reconstruction
The following list of questions may help to remind you of topics to discuss
with your surgeon. You may have additional questions as well.
- What are all my options for breast reconstruction?
- What are the risks and complications of each type of breast reconstruction
surgery and how common are they?
- What if my cancer recurs or occurs in the other breast?
- Will reconstruction interfere with my cancer treatment?
- How many steps are there in each procedure? What are they? How much experience
do you have with each procedure? What is the estimated total cost of each
- How long will it take to complete my reconstruction?
- Do you have before and after photos I can look at for each procedure and
what results are reasonable for me?
- What will my scars look like?
- What kind of changes in my implanted breast can I expect over time?
- What kind of changes in my implanted breast can I expect with pregnancy?
- What are my options if I am dissatisfied with the cosmetic outcome of my
- How much pain or discomfort will I feel and for how long?
- How long will I be in the hospital? Will I need blood transfusions, and
can I donate my own blood?
- When will I be able to resume my normal activity (such as athletic activity,
For more information about reconstructive breast surgery options, visit:
Type in "breast reconstruction".
NCI / National Cancer Institute's information:
Preventative Mastectomy / Prophylactic Mastectomy/
Cosmetic Tattooing (for areola): Permanent Makeup / Cosmetic Tattooing
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