Breast reconstruction – Immediate or delayed?

When a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer she is faced with a multitude of decisions –  lumpectomy or mastectomy, decisions about chemotherapy and radiation therapy – it can sometimes seem like too much to have to decide about breast reconstruction (implant reconstruction, flap reconstruction, silicone vs saline implants) at the same time.  Our goal as plastic surgeons is to try and make sure each patient has all the information she needs to make the best choice for her.  For some patients this might be to undergo the breast cancer treatment and not even worry about the reconstruction until later.  For others it might be to undergo breast  reconstruction at the same time as the mastectomy.  Recent data suggests that 70% of breast cancer patients are not informed of the various reconstructive options available to them.  This is not acceptable.  We need to work harder to make sure that women are given all the information they need at the time of their cancer diagnosis so they can make the best , informed decsions for themselves.

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