When Must I Decide on Reconstruction?

The University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
Last Modified: December 13, 2011

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Question

How long can I wait to make a decision regarding reconstruction after a mastectomy? Must I decide before I have my surgery?

Answer

Brian Czerniecki, MD, Breast , responds:

You can do reconstruction at any point after treatment finished or can have immediate reconstruction at the time of mastectomy. You get best results with immediate reconstruction. You can always have reconstruction years later even if you did not plan on it upfront.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat. Series, View the Life After Breast Cancer transcript.


News
Post-mastectomy irradiation tied to complications, implant loss in women who undergo IBR

Sep 21, 2010 - In breast cancer patients who undergo immediate breast reconstruction, post-mastectomy irradiation is linked to surgical complications and implant loss, but the risk of noninfectious postoperative complications isn't higher after mastectomy and immediate breast reconstruction in women who receive chemotherapy, according to two studies published in the September issue of the Archives of Surgery.


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