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Diseases & Conditions

Timing of Reconstruction

(Also Called 'Breast Cancer Q&A: Timing of Reconstruction - Surgery')

What are my options if I decide not to have immediate breast reconstruction after my mastectomy?

After your mastectomy, you may choose to wear external breast forms or pads (prosthesis) or make no attempt to alter your appearance.

It is also possible to have reconstruction surgery months or years after a mastectomy. The timing of reconstructive surgery is based on your personal desires, medical conditions and cancer treatment.

Whenever possible, plastic surgeons encourage women to begin breast reconstruction at the same time they are having their mastectomy. For many women, immediate reconstruction reduces the trauma of having a breast removed as well as the expense and discomfort of two major operations.

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This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed on: 8/31/2009...#9004