Breast prostheses and reconstruction

Breast prostheses and reconstruction

This information is for women who have had, or are considering, a partial or complete removal of one or both breasts (mastectomy). The surgery may have been because of cancer or to prevent cancer.

For many women, breasts symbolise femininity, motherhood and sexual attractiveness. Losing part or all of a breast may affect a woman’s body image or confidence.

Before or after a mastectomy you may think about whether, and how, to restore your breast shape. You may consider a breast prosthesis or a breast reconstruction. A prosthesis is an artificial breast worn inside a bra. It is also called a breast form. A reconstruction is a surgical procedure used to create a new breast shape using your own tissue and skin, and/or an implant.

We hope this section will help you understand both options. It also includes information on the possible benefits and drawbacks, which may be helpful in your decision-making process.

This section does not need to be read from cover to cover – just read the parts that are useful to you. Some terms that may be unfamiliar are explained in the glossary.

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This information was last reviewed in June 2017
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