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A 42-year-old member asked:

prophylactic bilateral mastectomy + reconstruction, can you tell me about this?

1 doctor answer4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ronen Elefant
Critical Care 13 years experience
Must talk to surgeon: This should be an hour-long discussion that depends on your specific diagnosis as well as family and personal history. 400 words wont justify an answer without having more information. I caution against the media bias to bilateral prophylactic mastectomy, which is an individual decision that should be made between patient and surgeon. This drastic surgery is not always the right answer to cancer.

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A 21-year-old member asked:

When would patients with invasive cancers be advised to have a mastectomy rather than a lumpectomy?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Barry Rosen
General Surgery 34 years experience
Multicentric CA, etc: Breast cancers sometimes arise from multiple different areas in the same breast, called multicentric growth. In these cases, mastectomy is necessary. A second reason is if a woman has the brca mutation, in which case her risk of a second breast cancer down the road is so high that she may opt for bilateral mastectomy.
Dr. Jalal Zuberi
Pediatrics 45 years experience
Celebrities like Angelina Jolie deserve credit for highlighting awareness of this killer disease with need to be vigilant and taking necessary steps to save lives from breast cancer
Dec 7, 2014
CA
A 34-year-old member asked:

How do surgeons reconstruct the breast after mastectomy?

5 doctor answers12 doctors weighed in
Dr. Barry Rosen
General Surgery 34 years experience
Implants v. "Flaps": In general, there are two different techniques for reconstruction following a mastectomy. In one, tissue expanders are placed under the chest wall muscles and then are slowly expanded over months until "new" skin forms; they are then removed and replaced by implants. The other technique involves transferring tissue from one part of the body such as the abdominal wall or back to the chest wall.
Dr. Mark Burke
Dr. Mark Burke commented
Plastic Surgery 19 years experience
Agree. Always look for a surgeon who at least described both options even if they do not perform both. Often autologous (using your own tissue to reconstruct the breast) is not offered to patients if the surgeons autologous re not comfortable doing it.
Jun 26, 2014
CA
A 25-year-old member asked:

How is a mastectomy bra different from a normal rock?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Greg Pahnke
Surgical Oncology 44 years experience
Softer: It depends on the price range but the new external prosthesis are markedly softer than before and form fitting for a total or to fill in the gaps after a partial mastectomy or radiation effect.
CA
A 46-year-old member asked:

Is having a prophylactic mastectomy a good idea for high-risk patients?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Barry Rosen
General Surgery 34 years experience
Sometimes.: There are very few options for reducing the risk of breast cancer in women who are at high-risk. While quite extreme, a double mast-x can significantly lower the risk of developing breast cancer. A simple blood test can be done to determine if a women is at high risk for developing the hereditary form of breast cancer. Before having this brca test, it is best to meet with a genetic counselor.
A 40-year-old member asked:

Will I be able to keep my nipples during a mastectomy?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Barry Rosen
General Surgery 34 years experience
It depends.: When a mast-x is recommended to treat a breast cancer, this usually includes removal of the nipple-areolar complex. In recent years, studies have shown that select cancers can be treated by sparing the nipple and areola. Furthermore, when performing a mast-x to prevent cancer ("prophylactic mast-x"), the nipple-areolar complex is often spared, especially when combined with a reconstruction.

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Last updated Oct 5, 2015

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