This booklet is for women who have had, or are considering having, a partial or complete removal of one or both breasts (mastectomy). The surgery may have been because of cancer or to prevent cancer.
For many women, breasts symbolise femininity, nursing a baby and sexual attractiveness. Losing part or all of a breast may affect your body image or confidence.
Before or after a mastectomy you may think about whether, and how, to restore your breast shape. You may consider a breast prosthesis or a breast reconstruction. A prosthesis is a synthetic breast worn inside a bra. It is also called a breast form. A reconstruction is a surgical procedure used to create a new breast shape using your own tissue and skin or using an implant as well as your own tissue and skin.
We hope this booklet will help you understand both options. It also includes information on the possible benefits and drawbacks, which may be helpful in your decision-making process.