Overview

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 (immediate reconstruction), or it can be done later (delayed reconstruction). The breast reconstruction process usually requires two or more operations — and several visits to your surgeon — 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.

Nov. 24, 2016
References
  1. AskMayoExpert. Breast implants. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
  2. AskMayoExpert. Breast reconstruction. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
  3. Breast reconstruction after mastectomy. National Cancer Institute. https://www.cancer.gov/types/breast/reconstruction-fact-sheet. Accessed Sept. 29, 2016.
  4. Townsend CM Jr, et al. Breast reconstruction. In: Sabiston Textbook of Surgery: The Biological Basis of Modern Surgical Practice. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 29, 2016.
  5. Breast reconstruction after mastectomy. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer/moreinformation/breastreconstructionaftermastectomy. Accessed Oct. 3, 2016.
  6. Pruthi S (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 25, 2016.
  7. Jagsi R, et al. Patient-reported quality of life and satisfaction with cosmetic outcomes after breast conservation and mastectomy with and without reconstruction. Annals of Surgery. 2015;261:1198.
  8. Boughey JC, et al. Contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM) consensus statement from the American Society of Breast Surgeons: Data on CPM outcomes and risks. Annals of Surgical Oncology. 2016;23:3100.