- Cancer Information
- Managing side effects
- Breast prostheses and reconstruction
- Breast reconstruction
- Who will do the reconstruction?
Who will do the reconstruction?
If you choose to have a breast reconstruction, your own breast surgeon may have the expertise to do this if they have training in plastic surgery techniques (known as an oncoplastic surgeon). Another option is that you may be referred to a reconstructive surgeon (also known as a plastic surgeon).
The breast surgeon and the reconstructive surgeon may work together to do the breast cancer surgery and reconstruction during the same operation.
Talk to your surgeon about what to expect, their experience and expertise, and the risks that are associated with the different types of reconstructions. You can also ask to see photographs of their work.
Learn more about:
Finding a surgeon
When considering having a reconstruction, ask to be referred to an expert in breast reconstruction. Check that they are a member of Breast Surgeons of Australia & New Zealand (BreastSurgANZ), and, if they are a reconstructive surgeon, a member of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Which health professionals will I see?
In hospital, you will be cared for by a range of health professionals who specialise in different aspects of a reconstruction procedure. Specialists and other health professionals will take a team-based approach to your care as part of a multidisciplinary team (MDT).
These health professionals may be in your MDT:
|breast surgeon||performs breast surgery and biopsies; some breast surgeons also perform breast reconstruction and plastic surgery procedures|
|oncoplastic breast surgeon||specialises in using plastic surgery techniques to reconstruct breast tissue after surgery|
|reconstructive (plastic) surgeon||performs breast reconstruction after a mastectomy|
|anaesthetist||administers anaesthetic before surgery and monitors you during the operation|
|breast care nurse||provides breast cancer care; provides information and referrals during and after treatment|
|occupational therapist, physiotherapist||assist with physical and practical problems, including restoring movement and mobility after surgery and recommending aids and equipment|
|social worker||links you to support services and helps you with any emotional, practical and financial problems|
|counsellor, psychologist, psychiatrist||help you manage your emotional response to diagnosis and treatment|
A/Prof Elisabeth Elder, Specialist Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon, Westmead Breast Cancer Institute and Clinical Associate Professor, The University of Sydney, NSW; Dragana Ceprnja, Senior Physiotherapist and Health Professional Educator, Westmead Hospital, NSW; Jan Davies, Consumer; Rosemerry Hodgkin, Consumer; Gillian Horton, Owner and Director, Colleen’s Lingerie and Swimwear, ACT; Ashleigh Mondolo, Clinical Nurse Consultant Breast Care Nurse, Mater Private Hospital South Brisbane, QLD; Dr Jane O’Brien, Specialist Oncoplastic Breast Cancer Surgeon, St Vincent’s Private Hospital, VIC; Moira Waters, Breast Care Nurse, Breast Cancer Care WA; Sharon Woolridge, Consumer; Rebecca Yeoh, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Queensland.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.
Click below to download a PDF booklet on this topic.