Types of Reconstruction

It’s important to understand every option when it comes to breast reconstruction techniques for your patients. Having the right information for full and transparent conversations with all women is integral to their journey through breast reconstruction due to breast cancer, and all options should be explored with your surgeon who may reference national guidelines.1

In order to aid your discussions with your patients, we have provided a comprehensive overview of the options for breast reconstruction, including:

  • Autologous breast reconstruction
  • Tissue matrix and implant reconstruction
  • Implant reconstruction
  • Tissue expander-to-implant reconstruction

Women may also have a choice of when reconstruction should be carried out. The reconstruction procedures shown are for illustration only. The technique actually used in each case will always depend upon the medical judgement of the surgeon exercised before and during the surgery.

Immediate Breast Reconstruction

In this procedure, the surgeon completes the mastectomy and begins to reconstruct the breast during the same operation.

Immediate breast reconstruction may mean fewer scars and operations and waking up with reconstructed breast(s). This last reason is why many patients experience fewer psychological issues, such as depression, than those who wake up without reconstruction.2

Delayed Breast Reconstruction

For certain patients, more time is needed to complete breast cancer treatment before undergoing breast reconstruction. Thus, for the following reasons, delayed breast reconstruction may be advantageous:

  • A need for post-mastectomy radiation therapy or chemotherapy
  • Concern about "recurrence"
  • A patient may be feeling overwhelmed, so treating the cancer first is essential



Patients should always consult with their surgeon about the best choice of breast reconstruction for them.

1Oncoplastic Breast Reconstruction: Guidelines For Best Practice. ABS/BAPRAS. Nov 2012

2 NHS National Mastectomy and Breast Reconstruction Audit, 2011. A national audit of provision and outcomes of mastectomy and breast reconstruction surgery for women in England Fourth Annual Report 2011.

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IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Every patient is different and their reconstruction options and their results may vary. All depictions on this site are for illustration purposes only. Whether or not a patient has breast reconstruction is a decision to be made in consultation with a healthcare professional. Only the patient and health care professional can determine the best option for reconstruction.
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