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The goal of breast reconstruction is to restore one or both breasts to near normal shape, appearance, symmetry and size following mastectomy, lumpectomy or other trauma.
Breast reconstruction often involves several procedures performed in stages and can either begin at the time of mastectomy or be delayed until a later date.
Breast reconstruction generally falls into two categories: implant based reconstruction or flap reconstruction. Implant reconstruction relies on breast implants to help form a new breast mound. Flap reconstruction uses the patient's own tissue from another part of the body to form a new breast.
There are a number of factors that should be taken into consideration when choosing which option is best:
If only one breast is affected, it alone may be reconstructed. In addition, a breast lift, breast reduction or breast augmentation may be recommended for the opposite breast to improve symmetry of the size and position of both breasts.