Breast Reconstruction Decisions

Following a mastectomy or lumpectomy, some breast cancer patients may decide to have breast reconstruction. Patients have reconstructive surgery for different reasons and the choice is completely up to you. For some women, it may help them emotionally or improve self-image. If you’re considering reconstructive surgery, talk to your doctor about the procedure, options and results.

Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center offers support and resources before, during and after breast reconstruction surgery. Talk to your doctor about any questions you may have to help you decide if breast reconstruction is right for you.

Before Breast Reconstruction

Ask yourself:

  • What does having breasts mean to me?
  • How do I want to look?
  • Do I want to have another surgery?
  • How will another surgery affect my day-to-day life?

Ask your doctor:

  • Am I a candidate for breast reconstruction?
  • What reconstruction options are best for me?
  • Will my cancer treatment delay reconstruction?
  • What if I change my mind?

Also, check out our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about breast reconstruction.

How to Decide on the Type of Breast Reconstruction

Having breast reconstruction surgery is a major operation. It’s important to review all your options. Please know that you don’t have to rush a decision. You may also consider not having reconstruction and use a breast insert or prosthesis. You may also decide to consider breast reconstruction in the future after completing all your treatment.

With your doctor, you will decide what kind of surgery to have and when to have it. Some things to consider when planning your breast reconstruction surgery:

  • Type of reconstruction – implant or skin flap
  • Body type – some patients may not have enough tissue for a skin flap
  • Overall health
  • Location, severity, and type of cancer
  • Cancer treatments you’ve undergone or anticipate receiving, such as radiation therapy or chemotherapy
  • Surgery on one or both breasts
  • Reconstruction surgery during cancer surgery or later
  • Number of surgeries you’re willing to have
  • Recovery time
  • Health insurance coverage

Types of Breast Reconstruction Surgery

Learn more about breast reconstruction options at Banner MD Anderson:

As with any surgery, you’ll want to aware of any possible risks. After having breast reconstruction surgery, be sure to follow your doctor’s recovery plan and schedule necessary follow up appointments.