It is important to be aware that the reconstructed breast will not be the same as the original breast that has been removed. However restoration of the breast shape, contour and size is achievable with very good results. The reasons for choosing to have reconstruction vary and the decision is very individual and will need to be discussed in-depth with your Breast surgeon. Many women choose to have an immediate reconstruction (at the time of mastectomy) other women prefer to have delayed reconstruction (at a later date as a separate procedure).
There is more than one type of reconstruction and the most suitable method will depend on the individual's preference and the surgeon's recommendations. The reconstruction is tailored to the individual. Reconstruction is not just one event and involves a process of adjustment over a period of time to achieve the final cosmetic result. There will be an opportunity to view photographs of patients who have already had similar procedures and on request a meeting can be arranged with a patient who has already had this type of surgery.
There are three main types of reconstruction
Not all individuals are suitable for certain types of reconstruction and this will be discussed at the consultation with the Breast specialist.
The length of time spent in hospital will depend on a combination of the type of surgery performed and the individual patient's medical history. This will involve a one to five night stay. The recovery period for this type of surgery usually lasts from 2-6 weeks and most patients return to normal activities without any problems. Information booklets are available and following the consultation with the Breast surgeon there will be an opportunity to further discuss reconstruction with a specialist nurse.