9 doctors weighed in:

What are the risks and benefits of immediate breast reconstruction if I have a masectomy?

9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Bryan McIntosh
Surgery - Plastics
3 doctors agree

In brief: Depends

Risks are specific to the type of reconstruction performed.
However, there is always a risk of partial loss of breast skin if the breast surgeon creates flaps of skin that are too thin. This is a serious risk if tissue expansion is to be performed, as the expander could be exposed and become infected if the skin partially becomes necrotic.

In brief: Depends

Risks are specific to the type of reconstruction performed.
However, there is always a risk of partial loss of breast skin if the breast surgeon creates flaps of skin that are too thin. This is a serious risk if tissue expansion is to be performed, as the expander could be exposed and become infected if the skin partially becomes necrotic.
Dr. Bryan McIntosh
Dr. Bryan McIntosh
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Richard Orr
Some patients will need radiation therapy following mastectomy (typically those with cancer in the lymph nodes). The long-term cosmetic result for those patients may be better if they have their treatment (surgery + radiation) first and then have a delayed reconstruction - usually with a muscle flap reconstruction. It helps for the breast surgeon + plastic surgeon to discuss this with you preop.
Dr. Robert Whitfield
Surgery - Plastics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Breast Cancer

The reconstructive technique used works in concert with the mastectomy performed by the breast surgeon.
Problems related to surgery are not to be minimized but are the same for virtually every procedure. Specific operations have specific risk such as a mastectomy can result in some skin loss. An infection can lead to removal of an implant. A fat injection can clump and lead to necrosis.

In brief: Breast Cancer

The reconstructive technique used works in concert with the mastectomy performed by the breast surgeon.
Problems related to surgery are not to be minimized but are the same for virtually every procedure. Specific operations have specific risk such as a mastectomy can result in some skin loss. An infection can lead to removal of an implant. A fat injection can clump and lead to necrosis.
Dr. Robert Whitfield
Dr. Robert Whitfield
Thank
Dr. Richard Baxter
Surgery - Plastics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Many

Immediate breast reconstruction is making a big comeback due to several recent improvements, such as skin sparing mastectomy and use of acellular dermal matrix "internal bra" (alloderm).
Advantages are fewer surgeries are minimal recovery times, and less depression about body deformity from breast loss. Insist on talking to a plastic surgeon before the mastectomy.

In brief: Many

Immediate breast reconstruction is making a big comeback due to several recent improvements, such as skin sparing mastectomy and use of acellular dermal matrix "internal bra" (alloderm).
Advantages are fewer surgeries are minimal recovery times, and less depression about body deformity from breast loss. Insist on talking to a plastic surgeon before the mastectomy.
Dr. Richard Baxter
Dr. Richard Baxter
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Bryan McIntosh
As a plastic surgeon, if it is appropriate and safe to perform an immediate breast reconstruction, it is also generally easier on both the surgeon and the patient to do so.
Dr. Minas Chrysopoulo
Surgery - Plastics

In brief: Several

Benefits include less scarring, better cosmetic results, and not having to experience being without a breast.
Risks include failure of the reconstruction, infection, bleeding, sensation loss, asymmetry, blood clots, ugly scarring, dissatisfaction with the cosmetic results and need for more surgery. Implant reconstruction risks also include hardening, rippling, rupture, and need for replacement.

In brief: Several

Benefits include less scarring, better cosmetic results, and not having to experience being without a breast.
Risks include failure of the reconstruction, infection, bleeding, sensation loss, asymmetry, blood clots, ugly scarring, dissatisfaction with the cosmetic results and need for more surgery. Implant reconstruction risks also include hardening, rippling, rupture, and need for replacement.
Dr. Minas Chrysopoulo
Dr. Minas Chrysopoulo
Thank
Dr. John Di Saia
Surgery - Plastics

In brief: Immediate vs delay

Immediate breast reconstruction is better if you are pretty sure you will not need radiation therapy and have a relatively small tumor. This plus a skin-sparing mastectomy is state of the art.

In brief: Immediate vs delay

Immediate breast reconstruction is better if you are pretty sure you will not need radiation therapy and have a relatively small tumor. This plus a skin-sparing mastectomy is state of the art.
Dr. John Di Saia
Dr. John Di Saia
Thank
Read more answers from doctors