Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Does Immediate Breast Reconstruction Delay Chemotherapy?

Many patients think or are told they cannot have immediate breast reconstruction (reconstruction at the same time as mastectomy) because it will significantly delay chemotherapy. In reality, breast reconstruction very rarely interferes with chemotherapy.


Patients that have immediate reconstruction and need chemotherapy can start their treatments once they have healed from their surgery. This usually takes about 4 weeks. The healing time required before chemotherapy is about the same whether patients have mastectomy alone or mastectomy and reconstruction.

A small percentage of patients develop wound healing problems after their cancer surgery and may need slightly longer to heal completely. Even in these situations, studies have shown there is typically no delay in starting chemotherapy. Patients must also realize that wound healing problems can also happen after mastectomy alone.

In addition to the psycho-social benefits, immediate breast reconstruction is associated with less scarring and better cosmetic results. Patients that have delayed breast reconstruction, ie reconstruction some time after the mastectomy, complete all their breast cancer treatment before proceeding with reconstruction.

I hope this info helps.

Dr C

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Dr Chrysopoulo is a board certified plastic surgeon and microsurgeon in San Antonio, TX specializing in state-of-the-art reconstructive breast surgery. He and his partners at PRMA are in-network for most major US insurance plans. Patients are welcomed from across and outside the US. Please call (800) 692-5565 or email patientadvocate@PRMAplasticsurgery.com to learn more about your breast reconstruction options. Connect with other breast cancer patients on Facebook.

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