ZocdocAnswersIs breast microsurgery recommended after a mastectomy?

Question

Is breast microsurgery recommended after a mastectomy?

I've just had a mastectomy and wanted to learn more about breast microsugery. I am 31. Is this the right way to go about reconstructing my breast?

Answer

It sounds as if you have already completed one leg of your journey in your battle to fight cancer, and seem to be doing well if you are contemplating reconstruction. Congratulations if that is the case. Microsurgery is a technique that has been around for some time in other areas of the body and is now being adapted for many other causes, including reconstruction of breast tissue after a mastectomy. It has the advantage of avoiding some of the local muscle morbidity (such as movement impairment and weakness) that would often accompany some of the other methods, and instead using tissue from a part of your body that tends to do well in the absence of a little bit of extra tissue. The technique is somewhat complicated by the very small vessels that are used to perform the procedure, but a competent surgeon will have extremely high success rates and very good outcomes. This procedure is becoming increasingly common, and so there are more and more surgeons who are facile in performing it. Please speak to your oncologic and/or plastic surgeon in detail about your various reconstruction options, as there is not a "one-size fits all" answer to your question.

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