A breast reconstruction is a type of surgery to make a new breast shape. Sometimes the reconstructed breast is called a breast mound. The surgery may be done using a silicone implant, tissue from another part of your body, or a combination of both.
Sometimes you can 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.
If you decide not to have a reconstruction at all, you can choose to wear a breast prosthesis or live with the changes to your body.
For more on this, see our general section on Breast prostheses and reconstruction.
Download a PDF booklet on this topic.
Prof Bruce Mann, Professor of Surgery, The University of Melbourne, and Director, Breast Tumour Stream, Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, VIC; Dr Marie Burke, Radiation Oncologist, and Medical Director GenesisCare Oncology, QLD; Dr Susan Fraser, Breast Physician, Cairns Hospital and Marlin Coast Surgery Cairns, QLD; Ruth Groom, Consumer; Julie McGirr, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Victoria; A/Prof Catriona McNeil, Medical Oncologist, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, NSW; Dr Roya Merie, Staff Specialist, Radiation Oncology, Liverpool Cancer Therapy Centre, Liverpool Hospital, NSW; Dr Eva Nagy, Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon, Sydney Oncoplastic Surgery, NSW; Gay Refeld, Clinical Nurse Consultant – Breast Care, St John of God Subiaco Hospital, WA; Genny Springham, Consumer.
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