Breast Reconstruction (cont.)

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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

REFERENCES:

"Breast reconstruction: Preoperative assessment"
UpToDate.com

"Breast reconstruction: Autologous tissue"
UpToDate.com

"Breast reconstruction: Prosthetic devices"

UpToDate.com


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/16/2015