Look & Feel of Reconstructed Breast
Many women wonder what a reconstructed breast looks and feels like. Will it look the same as my previous breast? Will it match my other breast? Does the nipple have feeling? Although breast reconstruction can rebuild your breast, the results are highly variable:
- A reconstructed breast will not have the same sensation and feel as the breast it replaces.
- Visible incision lines will always be present on the breast, whether from reconstruction or mastectomy.
- Certain surgical techniques will leave incision lines at the donor site, commonly located in less exposed areas of the body such as the back, abdomen or buttocks.
- A note about symmetry: If only one breast is affected, it alone may be reconstructed. In addition, a breast lift, breast reduction or breast augmentation may be recommended for the opposite breast to improve symmetry of the size and position of both breasts.
It is important to realize that after a mastectomy, the only tissue remaining on the chest wall is muscle and a thin layer of skin. Your plastic surgeon will be creating an entirely new breast from these tissues.
The breast often feels and looks different from the original breast and procedures to make it look more similar to the opposite side may be needed.
In addition, most women find the skin of the chest wall has less sensation after a mastectomy. Nerves that were removed during the mastectomy cannot be replaced and the loss of feeling is unfortunately permanent.
Despite these limitations, most women who undergo breast reconstruction derive immense benefits from the procedure. These include feelings of regained wholeness and femininity, as well as practical benefits such as eliminating the need for wearing a cumbersome breast prosthesis