Breast reconstruction after breast cancer is performed to restore shape and form to the area where a diseased breast was removed during a procedure called a mastectomy. Breast reconstruction can be done at the same surgical sitting as the breast cancer surgery or can be performed once the cancer treatment programme has been completed or the cancer correctly staged and treatment options determined.

The option to place a tissue expander first, expand the skin over a period, and then replace the tissue expander with a permanent silicone breast prosthesis is one way in which breast reconstruction can be performed. Sometimes a breast implant can be placed immediately, rather than a tissue expander.

The quality of the breast reconstruction is influenced by the plastic surgeon’s skills, but also by the amount of missing tissue, the patient’s health conditions, the size of the opposite breast and cancer treatment options. In patients with multiple health problems, obesity and older patients, reconstruction with implants, or tissue expanders with implants, might be a better option. Although multiple operations are required, these are of shorter duration.

Your safety is essential and will remain the primary concern in reconstructive procedures. Any reconstructive procedure will be tailored to you, considering the best aesthetic outcome, and the impact the reconstruction may have on your lifestyle.