- Guide to Breast Cancer
- Take the Breast Cancer Quiz
- Young Women & Breast Cancer
- Find a local Plastic Surgeon in your town
- What is breast reconstruction?
- Who is a candidate for breast reconstruction?
- What are the potential risks associated with breast reconstruction?
- When is breast reconstruction performed?
- What are the different types of breast reconstruction procedures that are available?
- Is breast reconstruction surgery possible after radiation?
- What is the recovery like after breast reconstruction surgery?
- What type of screening for breast cancer should be done after reconstructive surgery?
What type of screening for breast cancer should be done after reconstructive surgery?
Whether reconstructive surgery is performed or the patient has chosen to wear an external prosthesis, self-breast exams continue to be very important in monitoring the reconstructed breast or chest. Monthly self-breast exams should be performed on both chest/breasts and the armpits. If there is a concern or anything appears abnormal, an immediate consultation with breast or plastic surgeon is warranted. Monthly self-breast exams must continue for the rest of one's life as mastectomy does not eliminate the risk of breast cancer recurrence. Moreover, self-breast exams can detect a recurrence early when it is more treatable. Additional screening may be ordered if there is a suspicious mass or nodule that is felt. The screening may include an ultrasound or even an MRI.
Medically reviewed by Steven Nelson, MD; Board Certified Obstetrics and Gynecology
"Breast reconstruction: Preoperative assessment"
"Breast reconstruction: Autologous tissue"
"Breast reconstruction: Prosthetic devices"