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NCCN Guidelines for Patients


Breast Cancer - Early-Stage


, Version 1.2016


Breast cancer surgery

Breast reconstruction

Implants and flaps

Some breasts are reconstructed

with both implants and flaps.

Using both types may give

the reconstructed breast more

volume and help match its shape

to the other breast. However,

for any reconstruction, you may

need surgery on your real breast

so that the two breasts match in

size and shape.

Nipple replacement

Like your breast, you can have

your nipple remade, use a fake

nipple, or do nothing. The plastic

surgeon can recreate a nipple

mound with the surrounding

tissues or, sometimes, tissue

can be moved from other parts

of your body. These other parts

include your thigh, other nipple,

or female parts between your

legs (vulva). You may lose

feeling in your real nipple if

tissue is removed. Tissue used

from other areas of your body to

make a nipple can be darkened

in color with a tattoo.



Figure 3.3 Breast reconstruction

Breast implants and flaps are the two main methods used for breast

reconstruction following mastectomy. Implants are small bags filled

with salt water, silicone gel, or both that are placed under your breast

skin and muscle. Flaps are tissue taken from your belly area, butt, or

from under your shoulder blade to form breasts.