Do I need to have breast reconstruction after my surgery for breast cancer?

Last Modified: May 8, 2009

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Question

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

Do I need to have breast reconstruction after my surgery for breast cancer?

Answer

>Rachel McKenna, MSN, CRNP, Nurse Practitioner in the Division of Plastic Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital, responds:

It is never medically necessary to have breast reconstruction. This is considered an elective procedure, meaning you can choose to have it done or not. Some women choose to have a mastectomy (removal of all of the breast tissue) without reconstruction. Although it is considered elective, it is not considered solely cosmetic. This means that almost all insurance plans pay for breast reconstruction.


News
Post-mastectomy irradiation tied to complications, implant loss in women who undergo IBR

Sep 21, 2010 - In breast cancer patients who undergo immediate breast reconstruction, post-mastectomy irradiation is linked to surgical complications and implant loss, but the risk of noninfectious postoperative complications isn't higher after mastectomy and immediate breast reconstruction in women who receive chemotherapy, according to two studies published in the September issue of the Archives of Surgery.


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