Breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure which recreates a natural-looking breast after mastectomy, or breast removal, due to cancer or other disease. Some women elect to undergo breast reconstruction immediately following mastectomy, while other women may begin the reconstruction process years afterward. Reconstruction following breast cancer surgery is often covered by insurance. The best candidates for breast reconstruction are women whose cancer has been eliminated as best as can be determined. Patients should also be in good general health and should not smoke.
Women who suffer from breast irregularities also sometimes choose to undergo breast reconstruction. This is a process where by breasts are reshaped to appear more symmetrical and aesthetically pleasing.
The reconstruction process typically consists of multiple procedures which may be performed over a period of time. The first step in the reconstruction process involves the creation of the breast mound. This may take place during or after mastectomy and is typically preformed in the hospital setting with general anesthesia. Follow-up procedures may be performed to reconstruct the breast, either with or without implants. These procedures may take place in the hospital or in an outpatient facility and they may be performed with either general or local anesthesia.