Breast Reconstruction

  • Medical Author: Allen Gabriel, MD, FACS
  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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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


"Breast reconstruction: Preoperative assessment"

"Breast reconstruction: Autologous tissue"

"Breast reconstruction: Prosthetic devices"

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/16/2015

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