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Breast reconstruction is very specialised surgery. Surgeons who carry out this type of operation may be plastic surgeons or oncoplastic surgeons (trained in both breast cancer| surgery and reconstruction surgery).
You can ask your breast cancer surgeon or specialist nurse if there is a surgeon in your hospital who carries out breast reconstruction|. If not, your surgeon can refer you to a reconstructive specialist at another hospital.
Some types of breast reconstruction| operations need to be carried out by a surgeon who is skilled in micro-surgery (a reconstructive plastic surgeon). You may need to travel to your regional plastic surgery unit, which may be some distance from your home, to have this type of operation.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence| (NICE) currently recommends which treatments should be available to people within the NHS in England and Wales. NICE currently states that women should be offered the choice of all breast reconstruction options suitable for them, regardless of whether they are all available locally.
When you see your reconstructive surgeon, you can ask them about their experience in breast reconstruction. You can also ask to see photographs of the results of breast reconstruction operations they have done. This can help to give you an idea of what may be possible with your reconstructive surgery. Your surgeon may also be able to put you in touch with other women who have had breast reconstruction and who can talk over their experiences of the procedure with you.
You may also want to discuss breast reconstruction with other women on our online community|.
It’s important that both your breast surgeon and your reconstructive surgeon are sensitive to your thoughts and feelings about breast reconstruction.
It often helps to have a list of questions to ask your surgeons. Some questions you might want to ask your breast surgeon:
Some questions you may want to ask your reconstruction surgeon:
Content last reviewed: 1 June 2011
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