If you have surgery for breast cancer, or some other cancer, you may be a candidate for breast reconstruction surgery. Breast reconstruction is a very common surgery and is similar to breast surgery for cosmetic purposes. There are several different options, including breast implants or using tissue from another part of the body. The goal of reconstruction is to make breasts look natural when wearing clothes.
You can have breast reconstruction at the same time as your breast surgery for cancer or you can postpone it until later. There are many different breast surgery options -- such as lumpectomy, partial removal of one breast or a double mastectomy. Your reconstruction options will depend on the kind of surgery and other treatments you are having.
Other reconstruction surgeries may include the ears, nose, or some other part of the body that was surgically altered by a cancer surgery. There are many different options for surgery and prosthetic devices. Again, your reconstruction options will depend on the kind of surgery and other treatments you are having. The other treatments may include radiation and chemotherapy.
Deciding which reconstruction method is best for you will be discussed during your consultation with the plastic surgeon, who will consider your personal preferences, as well as body shape, prior surgeries, current medical condition and cancer treatment needs. All reconstructive options have both risks and benefits, and each option usually requires multiple procedures to reach a final result.
Your cosmetic / reconstruction surgery and your surgical oncologist will consult with you and each other to work out the best treatment plan for you.