For many patients, breast reconstruction is an option after mastectomy. Some women find that reconstructive surgery makes them feel or look more like themselves. Other women find that it helps them deal with the cancer emotionally.
At Mayo Clinic, plastic surgeons perform hundreds of breast reconstruction operations each year, creating lifelike breasts intended to help restore patients' self-confidence and quality of life. Specialists consider several factors in determining whether a woman is a good candidate for reconstruction, including:
Breast reconstruction surgery may be immediate (performed at the time of the mastectomy) or delayed (performed four months or more after the mastectomy) and performed in a separate operation.
Research shows that breast reconstruction does not interfere with the detection of tumors.