Breast reconstruction is a procedure for a woman who has lost a breast usually due to cancer. The concept is to reconstruct the lost breast mound and, if desired, to restore the nipple and areola. Reconstruction of the breast can improve self image and ameliorate the constant reminder of breast cancer caused by the loss of the breast. There are many options for breast reconstruction depending on the type of cancer surgery (skin sparing mastectomy, nipple sparing mastectomy, partial and complete mastectomy, etc.), the need for radiation, the quality of the tissues after the mastectomy, your body build, your health, and your desires. The reconstruction can be performed at the time of the mastectomy (immediate reconstruction) or put off until a later date (delayed reconstruction). The reconstruction can use synthetic materials such as tissue expanders and implants, your own natural tissues, or a combination of the two. Most reconstructions involve multiple procedures to achieve the best possible result. It is important to understand that in most circumstances, the reconstructed breasts will not look and feel normal. However, for many it is better than an external prosthesis.