Mastectomy with immediate reconstruction: issues and answers
Richard V. Dowden, MDAddress reprint requests to R.V.D., Head of Section of Breast Surgery, Department of Plastic Surgery, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44195-5031.
Randall J. Yetman, MD
Immediate breast reconstruction at the time of mastectomy, whether it involves prosthetic implantation or a myocutaneous flap procedure, has become a standard option for the care of breast cancer patients. The advantages of breast reconstruction are well understood: it helps to eliminate many of the psychological burdens with which mastectomy patients must contend and allows patients to participate in a normal lifestyle. Immediate breast reconstruction eases much of the initial psychological trauma of mastectomy. For patients who require postoperative radiation, reconstruction is often far less complex if done immediately than if delayed, even though radiation increases the chances of capsular contracture. The knowledge that immediate breast reconstruction is available may reduce patients' reluctance to seek medical advice when they find a breast lump.