What NOT to Say to Someone Having Breast Reconstruction Surgery

By: Courtney Floyd


What can you say to a loved one undergoing breast reconstruction to show your support?

According to women who have had breast reconstruction, here is what NOT to say and why:

Don’t Say “At least you get a free boob job!”

There are many who believe breast reconstruction is simply a free cosmetic breast surgery. This could not be further from the truth. Breast Reconstruction is performed after a woman has undergone removal of her breast tissue for medical reasons. That's a completely different scenario to women choosing to enhance the appearance of their existing, natural breasts. Furthermore, insurance is required to cover breast reconstruction, but this does not mean the surgery is free. Insurance policies come with ongoing costs to maintain, and also an assigned deductible and out of pocket amount that must be paid by the patient. In addition, many women must travel to find surgeons who are experienced in advanced breast reconstruction techniques like the DIEP flap.

At PRMA, we have the privilege of caring for patients from across the globe and offer breast reconstruction patients assistance with travel and accommodation expenses.

For more info click here.

Don’t Say “Are you sure you want to do this?”

For many, breast reconstruction is an important part of healing after breast cancer. Although breast reconstruction is not for everyone, it is a something everyone has the right to consider. No matter the choice (implant reconstructiontissue reconstruction, or no reconstruction), all journeys should be respected and supported.

Let’s reframe the breast reconstruction discussion! Let’s encourage those considering reconstruction to know all their options and decide what is best for them.

Don’t Say “Why are you doing this, you have perfectly good boobs?”

Women choosing to have prophylactic (preventative) mastectomy with breast reconstruction do not come to their decisions lightly. Their surgery has nothing to do with what their natural breasts look like, it’s about reducing their risk of developing cancer.

Dvora chose prophylactic mastectomy with immediate DIEP flap breast reconstruction. She shares her story here.

Don’t Say "I had a friend/family member who had reconstruction and she is unhappy with her results."

Sharing negative stories to another before surgery is never helpful. Shared Decision Making with an experienced surgeon is key for a successful breast reconstruction journey. Sadly, many women today are never informed of ALL their breast reconstruction options before undergoing surgery and are left unsatisfied with their final results.

If you are unhappy with your final results please know there are options. At PRMA, we specialize in correcting failed reconstruction. If you are unhappy with your reconstruction and would like to learn more about your options click here.  

What can you say to a loved one undergoing breast reconstruction to show your support? | PRMA Plastic Surgery


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  • Deborah Geary-Smedile

    I am now 11 years BC free. I had no option nor was I given an option, when I had a mastectomy in 2006. I was terrified afterwards that I would be covering it up. But…now 11 years later, I feel it might be too late! I’m so ready with everything in me. I honestly just need a surgeon to tell me…This can be done!

    • Julia Sunderland

      You can!
      I had my mastectomy in 2008, and had a delayed Diep recon in 2016. It’s not an easy op, but it is definitely worth it if you’re considering reconstruction. Like you, I wasn’t given the immediate recon option, and for years I wasn’t really happy with how I looked and felt.
      I’m in the UK. I joined a support group and met ladies who had the diep, and a plastic surgeon came to one of our socials to tell us all about it. I was hooked, and started my consultation… the rest is history.

      • PRMA

        Thanks so much for sharing Julia!

  • PRMA

    So wonderful to hear you are now 11 years breast cancer free!  I absolutely HATE to hear you were never given the options for reconstruction.  Please know it is NEVER TOO LATE for breast reconstruction!!! And there is no age where you become “too old.”

    Our surgeons would be honored to discuss all your breast reconstruction options with you!  You are welcome to give our office a call any time at 210-692-1181 or 800-692-5565 to set up an appointment.  You can also find our FREE Virtual Consultation form at https://prma-enhance.com/schedule-a-consultation/

PRMA Plastic Surgery