Women with diagnosis of breast cancer could choose to have simple mastectomy without breast reconstruction. This decision could be due to any of the following reasons:
- Patient choice: Some women feel comfortable not to have reconstruction and avoid any further surgery. They are offered prosthesis, which can be worn in the bra to allow a normal look in clothes. There is a wide range of prosthesis available and offer a choice, please ask your breast care nurse and she would be able to guide you further.
- Recommended against immediate reconstruction by the clinician (usually due to significant medical problems).
- Choice between immediate and delayed breast reconstruction: This is sometimes a logistical issue; depending on individual circumstances, need for cancer therapy and ability of the patient to deal with the information and decision-making process.
- Complications necessitating conversion to simple mastectomy. If the reconstruction surgery results in a complication (particularly implant reconstruction), patient might land up needing removal of implant and conversion to simple mastectomy to allow recovery from infection.
Whilst a patient may be committed to undergoing simple mastectomy, she would be encouraged to read the information pertaining to breast reconstruction and to look at the photographs of both simple mastectomy and immediate reconstruction. This is to ensure informed decision-making in the very difficult times of having to make life-changing decisions.