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About this information

This information has been prepared to help you understand your options before or after surgery for breast cancer.

Your breasts may symbolise femininity, nursing a baby and sexual attractiveness. Having part of or the whole breast removed may affect how you feel about yourself, or your confidence.

Before or after surgery you may think about whether, and how, to restore your breast shape. You may consider an external breast prosthesis, a breast reconstruction or staying flat. A breast prosthesis is a synthetic breast worn inside a bra. It is also called a breast form. Breast reconstruction surgery creates a new breast shape using your own tissue and skin, an implant or a combination of both.

We hope this information will help you weigh up the benefits and drawbacks before making a decision.

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This information is reviewed by

This information was last reviewed November 2023 by the following expert content reviewers: Dr Jane O’Brien, Specialist Oncoplastic Breast Cancer Surgeon, St Vincent’s Private Hospital, VIC; Clare Bradshaw, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Breast Assessment Unit, Fiona Stanley Hospital, WA; Rene Hahn, Consumer; Sinead Hanley, Consumer; Dr Marc Langbart, Specialist Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, Randwick Plastic Surgery, NSW; Melanie Law, Consumer; Sally Levy, Consumer; Annmaree Mitchell, Consumer; Ashleigh Mondolo, Breast Cancer Nurse Clinical Consultant, Mater Private Hospital Brisbane, QLD; Rochelle Osgood, Clinical Nurse Consultant – McGrath Breast Care Nurse, Sunshine Coast University Hospital, QLD: Dr Kallyani Ponniah, Head of Department, Breast Centre, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, WA; Meg Rynderman OAM, Consumer; Sarah Stewart, Breast Care Nurse, The Royal Women’s Hospital, VIC; Erin Tidball, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council NSW; Jane Turner, Senior Exercise Physiologist, Sydney Cancer Survivorship Centre, Concord Cancer Centre, NSW.

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