Breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure that restores shape to your breast after mastectomy — surgery that removes your breast to treat or prevent breast cancer.
One type of breast reconstruction uses breast implants — silicone devices filled with silicone gel or salt water (saline) — to reshape your breasts. Breast reconstruction with breast implants is a complex procedure performed by a plastic surgeon.
The breast reconstruction process can start at the time of your mastectomy, or it can be done later. The breast reconstruction process usually requires two or more operations — and several visits to your doctor — to insert, position and fill the breast implants.
Breast reconstruction won't re-create the exact look and feel of your natural breast. However, the contour of your new breast may restore a silhouette similar to what you had before mastectomy.
Feb. 15, 2014
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- Breast reconstruction: Helping you become whole again. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. http://www.plasticsurgery.org/reconstructive-procedures/breast-reconstruction.html. Accessed Aug. 18, 2013.
- FDA update on the safety of silicone gel-filled breast implants: Executive summary. US Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/ImplantsandProsthetics/BreastImplants/ucm259866.htm. Accessed Aug. 20, 2013.