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Is there a Place For Breast Reconstruction in Metastatic Breast Cancer?

Comparison of Abdominal Recovery After SIEA, DIEP, TRAM Flap Breast Reconstruction PRMA Plastic Surgery

Traditional medical opinion states that patients with metastatic breast cancer are not candidates for breast reconstruction. Once metastases are diagnosed (stage IV breast cancer), attention understandably focuses on aggressive medical treatment to prolong life. Until fairly recently, breast reconstruction was not usually discussed as an option.

Opinions have thankfully started to change over the last few years. Your surgeon will still want to ensure your cancer has been stable for several months (at least three), your follow-up scans haven’t shown any new lesions, and your current metastases haven’t grown in size. You also need to be healthy enough to get through and recover from the additional surgery. The surgery can usually be scheduled around any ongoing cancer treatments.

Equally, if a patient feels their quality of life would be enhanced by going flat, this should be considered an equally valid option.

As long as the mets are stable and medically controlled for some time, the patient has the approval of their medical oncologist, and they can safely undergo surgery, the potential psycho-social and quality of life benefits further surgery could provide should not be ignored.

Author: Dr. Minas Chrysopoulo

Traditional medical opinion states that patients with metastatic breast cancer are not candidates for breast reconstruction. Once metastases are diagnosed (stage IV breast cancer), attention understandably focuses on aggressive medical treatment to prolong life. Breast reconstruction is not usually discussed as an option.

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