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All patients who undergo mastectomy for early breast cancer or risk reducing surgery should be offered breast reconstruction unless medically contraindicated. Breast reconstruction after mastectomy may be performed in the immediate or the delayed setting. The timing of reconstruction (immediate vs delayed ) depends on multiple factors and usually influenced by the type of cancer and other treatments ,beside surgery, that you may require.
Immediate breast reconstruction , when feasible, is done at the same time of cancer surgery (Mastectomy) and generally gives better cosmetic outcome compared to delayed reconstruction, this is because in immediate breast reconstruction skin sparing or nipple sparing mastectomy are performed where the skin envelope and occasionally ,in selected cases, the nipple and areola are preserved along side the infra mammary crease. Nevertheless, unfortunately, not all patients are suitable to immediate breast reconstruction. Some patients will be offered delayed breast reconstruction, this type of reconstruction will be performed after the patient has completed her adjuvant therapy (Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy). Mr Salhab will assess you and discuss different options of breast reconstruction that may suit you.
Patients who consider breast reconstruction should be aware that breast reconstruction is not a journey that require great commitment from the patient. Most patients who undergo breast reconstruction usually require multiple procedure before the reconstruction is finalised. Some patients will need to have ,for example, operation on the healthy breast to achieve symmetry or future operations years down the line to deal with potential complications.
Mo Salhab MD, MRCS, MS, PG Dip, FRCS
Oncoplastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Breast Surgeon