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A reconstructed breast won’t look exactly the same
as a natural breast, but the difference shouldn’t be
noticeable when you are wearing clothes.

Q. Does a reconstructed breast feel different?

Breast implants are designed to feel like a natural
breast, being soft and pliable. They are similar in
weight and density to breast tissue, so you should
feel a balance between the reconstructed breast
and your remaining breast. The implant may move
slightly, so the reconstructed breast may have
some 'bounce'. The skin over your reconstructed breast will feel normal if you touch it. However,
the sensation in the breast is different – it’s
usually reduced at first but may improve over time.

Q. How good will the match with my natural
breast be?

Surgeons make every possible effort to match the
remaining breast, but a reconstructed breast is
unlikely to be an exact duplicate in size, shape or
outline. The same is true for a reconstructed nipple.
If you feel that the match is not good enough, your
surgeon may suggest that you have an operation
on your natural breast to give a more balanced
appearance. The most common procedures
carried out are reduction, enlargement or lifting of the natural breast.

Q. What if I am not happy with the results?

Your satisfaction with breast reconstruction will
depend mainly on what you expect before the
surgery. Make sure that you discuss your
expectations with your surgeon before you decide
to go ahead. It's important to wait for several
months after reconstruction for the skin and
muscle to stretch, and for the reconstructed
breast to settle into its final shape, before
deciding how happy you are with the result. Full healing can take about a year. If you then have
concerns, discuss them with your surgeon or
breast care nurse. You can also ask your surgeon
to refer you to another surgeon for a second
opinion if you wish.

Q. Does breast reconstruction interfere with
other treatments?

Immediate reconstruction will not make
radiotherapy or chemotherapy treatments less
effective. Occasionally, treatment may be
delayed to allow the reconstruction to heal fully.

Q. Could a breast implant hide a new cancer?

Specialists consider that there is little or no
difficulty in detecting a recurrence of cancer either
beneath or around an implant, using examination
by hand or a mammogram. If cancer comes back,
it’s most likely to be just under the skin and so
should be easy to detect.

Q. Is breast reconstruction available on the NHS?

Yes. If you have had, or are going to have, a
mastectomy as a cancer treatment, you are
entitled to free breast reconstruction on the NHS.
Alternatively, some surgeons will carry out
reconstruction surgery privately, if you prefer.



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