Do I need to have breast reconstruction after my surgery for breast cancer?

Last Modified: May 8, 2009

Question

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

Do I need to have breast reconstruction after my surgery for breast cancer?

Answer

>Rachel McKenna, MSN, CRNP, Nurse Practitioner in the Division of Plastic Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital, responds:

It is never medically necessary to have breast reconstruction. This is considered an elective procedure, meaning you can choose to have it done or not. Some women choose to have a mastectomy (removal of all of the breast tissue) without reconstruction. Although it is considered elective, it is not considered solely cosmetic. This means that almost all insurance plans pay for breast reconstruction.

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