Surgery to the other breast

You may have surgery to your other breast to match the size and shape of your reconstructed breast. This is usually done some months later.

About surgery to the other breast

During breast reconstruction, surgeons aim to match the size and shape of the reconstructed breast to your other breast. This is not always possible. They may suggest you have an operation on your other breast so they match.

This is usually done as a second operation some months later. But sometimes it is done at the same time as mastectomy and breast reconstruction.

Breast reduction

This can be done if your natural breast is larger than the reconstructed breast. The surgeon can make it smaller and change its shape so they match.


If your natural breast is droopier than the reconstructed breast, it can be lifted and reshaped this is called mastopexy.

Breast enlargement (augmentation)

This can be done if your reconstructed breast is larger than your other breast and you prefer the larger breast. Your natural breast can be made bigger using a silicone implant. This can sometimes be combined with a breast lift.

Scarring and sensation

Surgery to your other breast will cause some scarring. This should fade with time. Some operations, such as repositioning the nipple, may lead to having reduced sensation or loss of sensation in the nipple.

About our information

  • References

    Below is a sample of the sources used in our breast cancer information. If you would like more information about the sources we use, please contact us at

    European Society for Medical Oncology. Primary breast cancer: ESMO clinical practice guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. Annals of oncology 26 (supplement 5): v8–v30. 2015.

    Morrow M, et al. Chapter 79: malignant tumors of the breast. DeVita, Hellman and Rosenberg’s cancer: principals and practice of oncology (10th edition). Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. 2014.

    National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Early and locally advanced breast cancer: diagnosis and management. July 2018.

    Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network. SIGN 134. Treatment of primary breast cancer: a national clinical guideline. September 2013.

  • Reviewers

    This information has been written, revised and edited by Macmillan Cancer Support’s Cancer Information Development team. It has been reviewed by expert medical and health professionals and people living with cancer. It has been approved by Senior Medical Editor, Dr Rebecca Roylance, Consultant Medical Oncologist.

    Our cancer information has been awarded the PIF TICK. Created by the Patient Information Forum, this quality mark shows we meet PIF’s 10 criteria for trustworthy health information.