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The Komen Mission:
To eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease by advancing research, education, screening, and treatment.

Breast Cancer



Reconstruction is a surgical alternative to an external prosthesis or breast form. Women of all ages are finding that breast reconstruction after mastectomy can be a step toward restoring their body to a natural shape.

Some women start reconstruction at the same time as their mastectomy surgery; others wait several months or even years. It’s best to discuss this option prior to surgery, with a board-certified plastic surgeon whose practice includes breast reconstruction. It is also important to verify that your medical insurance covers reconstruction.

Types of breast reconstruction:

1. Reconstruction with implants: Implants are sacs filled with either silicone (a type of soft plastic) or saline (salt water). These sacs are placed under your chest wall or skin.

2. Reconstruction with tissue flaps: Muscle, fat and skin are transferred from another part of the body to the chest area and shaped into the form of a breast. The most common area of transferred tissue is from the stomach.

Questions to ask about reconstruction:

• What type of reconstructive surgery is best for me?
• What are the risks and side effects?
• When is the best time for reconstruction?
• How many surgeries are required?
• How safe are the implanted devices?
• What should I expect my recovery to be like?
• How long should my recovery take?
• How will my reconstructed breast compare in appearance to my other breast?
• Are special bras needed after surgery?
• Can you refer me to someone to speak to about their experience with reconstruction?
• Will my insurance cover the costs of this surgery?
• If I do not choose reconstruction, what prosthesis or breast forms are available?
• Does radiation affect reconstruction?
• Will I have pain and how will it be managed?
• Can you show me pictures of reconstructions you have done?