Breast cancer patients should know their reconstructive options

December 21, 2010

Breast cancer patients should know their reconstructive options
Breast cancer patients should know their reconstructive options

According to the Centers for Disease Control, breast cancer is the second most common form of cancer in women, and more than 40,000 patients died from the disease in 2006. With the number of women undergoing treatment, The Huffington Post reports that it is crucial that women know all their options for breast reconstruction.

Experts say that one popular technique involves taking muscle, fat and skin from the lower abdomen to the chest, to create a new breast. Patients may choose this technique because it does not require an implant; however, there are a number of disadvantages because of the prolonged surgery time and the possibility of flap failure.

Many women choose to have breast reconstruction at the same time as the mastectomy. This not only results in one less operation and an overall shortened recovery time, but may also expedite psychological benefits.

Recent research supports the notion that immediate instead of delayed reconstruction is best for the patient. A retroactive analysis reported in the European Journal of Surgical Oncology in 2000 found that 95 percent of women who underwent immediate reconstruction preferred the technique.

Breast reconstruction is a team approach that will require a board-certified plastic surgeon to perform the reconstruction after the cancer surgeon has completed the mastectomy. It is crucial to go over the options with both doctors, and understand the risks and outcomes of the surgery.

The mission of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASAPS, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to

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The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world's leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body. ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; Active Members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and nonsurgical aesthetic procedures. International Active Members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.


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