Breast reconstruction, or surgery to rebuild a breast's shape, is often an option after mastectomy. Some health insurance plans pay for all or part of the cost of the breast reconstruction, as well as for surgery to the other breast so that both breasts are about the same shape and size.
Reconstructive surgery will not give you back your breast(s). However, although a reconstructed breast will not have natural sensation, the reconstruction can give you a result that looks like a breast.
If you are thinking about breast reconstruction, you should talk with a plastic surgeon before your mastectomy, whether you plan to have your reconstruction at the same time as the mastectomy or later. Breast reconstruction may be done at the same time as the mastectomy, or several months or even years after.
For a more complete introduction to the patient experience of breast reconstruction, continue to the breast reconstruction general information page.
Source: National Cancer Institute's What You Need to Know About Breast Cancer www.cancer.gov