Will breast reconstruction interfere with my cancer treatment?
By: Dr. Minas Chrysopoulo
No, breast reconstruction does not typically interfere with breast cancer treatment. Patients that are candidates for immediate reconstruction (reconstruction at the same time as mastectomy) proceed with the remaining recommended cancer treatment once they have healed from the mastectomy and reconstruction (usually about 4 weeks). That healing time is generally the same whether you have mastectomy alone or mastectomy and reconstruction.
A small percentage of patients develop wound healing problems after surgery and need slightly longer to heal. In these situations, it can take a little longer to start chemotherapy (if chemo is needed). Again, this situation can arise regardless of whether the patient is having reconstruction.
Patients that have delayed breast reconstruction (ie reconstruction some time after the mastectomy), complete all their breast cancer treatment prior to the reconstruction.