Deciding whether or not to have a breast rebuilt is a very personal choice. Take the time you need to learn about how breast reconstruction might affect you, both emotionally and physically, before you decide to have the surgery. There are two main categories of reconstruction:
If you decide that breast reconstruction isn’t right for you but still want a breast shape, a prosthesis, also called a breast form, can help you look balanced without surgery. You can use a prosthesis (or two prostheses, if you’ve had a double mastectomy) if you want the appearance of breasts but want to hold off on reconstruction or not have it at all.
A prosthesis is the fastest way to fill the space where your breast was. You can slip it into your bra or bathing suit and appear as you did before surgery — and this is a big relief for many women, especially after losing a breast and making so many major decisions.
Patients prioritize reconstruction goals in the order below when making decisions:
It's also important to know that while breast reconstruction rebuilds the shape of the breast, it doesn't restore sensation to the breast or the nipple. Over time, the skin over the reconstructed breast can become more sensitive to touch, but it won't be exactly the same as it was before surgery.