No need to wait on reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy, new study shows
Jul 27, 2011
Some traditional schools of thought deemed it best for women to wait some time after undergoing a mastectomy before receiving reconstructive surgery. A new study appearing in the July issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery made breast cancer health news by stating otherwise.
The Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of California Los Angeles Medical Center and the Plastic Reconstructive Surgery Service of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center spearheaded the study.
Patients diagnosed with Stage IIB breast cancer or worse who underwent mastectomies and had immediate breast reconstruction were studied over the course of 10 years. The study found that despite some minor complications, reconstructive surgery immediately following a mastectomy is safe.
The authors of the study wrote that their findings "have shown that immediate breast reconstruction in women with advanced-stage breast cancer is safe and well tolerated. Our complication rates are not significantly different from those of mastectomy alone and are similar to previous reports of immediate breast reconstruction in patients with early-stage cancer."
According to the American Cancer Society, there are advantages and disadvantages to having immediate reconstructive surgery. Having reconstructive surgery right after a mastectomy reduces damage to chest tissues and often makes the final result look more natural, but women who need radiation treatment following a mastectomy should consider deferring on reconstruction for a time.