My Breast My Health
What is breast reconstruction?
If you have been recommended to have a mastectomy, you have the option to have breast reconstruction. This can be either at the time of your breast cancer operation (immediate reconstruction) or afterwards (delayed reconstruction).
S1 Ep7: Breast cancer reconstruction surgery
Q. Who is it suitable for?
Breast reconstruction should be offered to anyone having a mastectomy. However,
deciding what type of breast reconstruction is most suitable for you, not only depends on your preference but also the other treatments you may need after your surgery. This is a discussion you will have with your surgeon.
Q. What types of breast reconstructions are available?
Generally speaking, there are two types of reconstruction you can have. This could either
be an implant-based reconstruction or autologous-based (i.e. using your own body tissue).
Q. What does the scar look like?
It depends on the type of reconstruction you have. If you have an implant-based
reconstruction, you will only have one scar on the breast. However, if you use your own
body tissue, then you will have two scars, one on the breast, the other will be situated
where the body tissue is taken from e.g. tummy or back or inner thighs.
Q. How long does the surgery take?
Normally about 90 minutes.
Q. How long is the recovery?
It varies, but for an implant-based reconstruction, it may take about a month to feel
completely well and comfortable. For an autologous reconstruction, it normally takes
longer and may take anything up to 3 months.
Q. Do I need to stay in hospital?
Yes, you will need to stay in the hospital. Implant-based reconstruction may only need an
overnight stay. Autologous-based reconstruction will need longer, sometimes up to 5 days.