How you prepare

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Before a mastectomy, your doctor may recommend that you meet with a plastic surgeon. Consult a plastic surgeon who's board certified and experienced in breast reconstruction following mastectomy. Ideally, your breast surgeon and the plastic surgeon will work together to develop the best surgical treatment and breast reconstruction strategy in your situation.

Your plastic surgeon will describe your surgical options and may show you photos of women who have had different types of breast reconstruction. Your body type, health status and cancer treatment factor into which type of reconstruction will give you the best result. The plastic surgeon also provides information on anesthesia, where the operation will be performed and what kind of follow-up procedures may be necessary.

Your plastic surgeon may recommend surgery on your opposite breast, even if it's healthy, so that it more closely matches the shape and size of your reconstructed breast.

Before surgery, follow your doctor's instructions on preparing for the procedure. This may include guidelines on eating and drinking, adjusting current medications, and quitting smoking.

Feb. 26, 2014