Breast reconstruction is surgery to make a new breast shape, which is also called a breast mound. The surgery may be done using a silicone implant, using tissue from another part of your body, or a combination of the two.
It may be possible to have a breast reconstruction at the same time as a mastectomy (immediate reconstruction). You may prefer to wait for several months or years before having a reconstruction (delayed reconstruction). If you’re not having an immediate reconstruction but might consider it in the future, discuss this with your surgeon before surgery, as it will help them to plan the mastectomy. Sometimes you may have to travel to a different hospital to have a reconstruction.
Some people decide not to have a reconstruction and prefer to ‘go flat’, while others choose to wear a breast prosthesis.
For more on this, see our general section on Breast prostheses and reconstruction.
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A/Prof Elisabeth Elder, Specialist Breast Surgeon, Westmead Breast Cancer Institute and The University of Sydney, NSW; Collette Butler, Clinical Nurse Consultant and McGrath Breast Care Nurse, Cancer Support Centre, Launceston, TAS; Tania Cercone, Consumer; Kate Cox, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Dr Marcus Dreosti, Radiation Oncologist and Medical Director, GenesisCare, SA; Dr Susan Fraser, Breast Physician, Cairns Hospital and Marlin Coast Surgery Cairns, QLD; Dr Hilda High, Genetic Oncologist, Sydney Cancer Genetics, NSW; Prof David W Kissane AC, Chair of Palliative Medicine Research, The University of Notre Dame Australia, and St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney, NSW; Prof Sherene Loi, Medical Oncologist, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Dr W Kevin Patterson, Medical Oncologist, Adelaide Oncology and Haematology, SA; Angela Thomas, Consumer; Iwa Yeung, Physiotherapist, Princess Alexandra Hospital, QLD.
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