Should I have prophylactic mastectomy and reconstruction on the other unaffected breast?

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This is a common question that we get as reconstructive surgeons. From our perspective, it is important that you speak with your breast surgeon as well about your risk of getting breast cancer on the other breast. In a small percentage of patients, like those who have a genetic predisposition towards cancer, they are at significantly higher risk for breast cancer. We recommend that those patients have prophylactic mastectomy to reduce their risk of breast cancer. In most patients, however, removing the other breast does not actually reduce their risk of breast cancer development. In some patients, symmetry is best obtained when the same procedure is done to both sides. However, in many patients, we can also obtain excellent symmetry of the two breasts without needing to perform mastectomy and reconstruction to both sides.