Breast reconstruction (following breast removal) is a surgery that’s purpose is to create a natural-looking breast to replace the breast that has been removed because of breast cancer.
A number of methods may be used to rebuild the breast. Commonly, the breast skin is stretched and expanded after which an implant is inserted beneath the chest muscle. Or, a breast may be formed using skin, fat and muscle from other parts of the body, such as the back, abdomen or buttocks. The nipple and areola are reconstructed in a later procedure.
For most women, recovery may take six weeks. It may take up to two years for scars to completely fade. The breast’s shape may change with aging and weight fluctuation.