Does Breast Reconstruction Affect Recurrence of Cancer?

Does having Breast reconstruction after cancer surgery have any effect on whether cancer will return? I had a partial Mastectomy and I also worry that surgery may interfere with screenings.

Doctor Answers 3

Only theoretically

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A partial mastectomy is a breast reduction performed in a limited manner for removal of breast cancer. In fact, some patients who are to undergo partial mastectomy or lumpectomies may be better served with incorporating this into a more formal reduction mammaplasty procedure to improve the resulting size and shape. There is a theoretically increased risk of producing internal scars, densities, or calcifications that may confuse future mammogram but this usually handled with ultrasound or MRI imaging.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Breast reconstruction and recurrence

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Breast reconstruction should not interfere with future screening and detection of new  tumors or recurrence.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Studies have generally shown no difference in survival

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This is a frequently debated question and concern.

In the early years of breast reconstruction, many surgeons delayed breast reconstruction for 5 years for this reason. It was assumed that if you waited for this period, the chance of cancer recurrence was extremely low.

In the 80's, a few studies indicated that this immediate breast cancer did not effect breast cancer survival and this became the standard of care.

Some studies have suggested that breast reconstruction may dealy the diagnosis of recurrence but will not generally effect overall survival.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.