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 should 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 discuss the pros and cons of surgery on your opposite breast, even if it's healthy, so that it more closely matches the shape and size of your reconstructed breast. Surgery to remove your healthy breast (contralateral prophylactic mastectomy) can double the risk of surgical complications, such as bleeding and infection. Also, there may be less satisfaction with cosmetic outcomes after surgery.
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.
Aug. 09, 2017
- AskMayoExpert. Breast reconstruction. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
- Breast reconstruction after mastectomy. National Cancer Institute. https://www.cancer.gov/types/breast/reconstruction-fact-sheet. Accessed Sept. 29, 2016.
- 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.
- Breast reconstruction after mastectomy. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer/moreinformation/breastreconstructionaftermastectomy. Accessed Oct. 24, 2016.
- 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.
- 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.
- Pruthi S (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 26, 2016.
Breast reconstruction with flap surgery