ACR Appropriateness Criteria® Imaging After Mastectomy and Breast Reconstruction

Expert Panel on Breast Imaging

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Mastectomy may be performed to treat breast cancer or as a prophylactic approach in women with a high risk of developing breast cancer. In addition, mastectomies may be performed with or without reconstruction. Reconstruction approaches differ and may be autologous, involving a transfer of tissue (skin, subcutaneous fat, and muscle) from other parts of the body to the chest wall. Reconstruction may also involve implants. Implant reconstruction may occur as a single procedure or as multistep procedures with initial use of an adjustable tissue expander allowing the mastectomy tissues to be stretched without compromising blood supply. Ultimately, a full-volume implant will be placed. Reconstructions with a combination of autologous and implant reconstruction may also be performed. Other techniques such as autologous fat grafting may be used to refine both implant and flap-based reconstruction. This review of imaging in the setting of mastectomy with or without reconstruction summarizes the literature and makes recommendations based on available evidence. The American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria are evidence-based guidelines for specific clinical conditions that are reviewed annually by a multidisciplinary expert panel. The guideline development and revision include an extensive analysis of current medical literature from peer reviewed journals and the application of well-established methodologies (RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method and Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation or GRADE) to rate the appropriateness of imaging and treatment procedures for specific clinical scenarios. In those instances where evidence is lacking or equivocal, expert opinion may supplement the available evidence to recommend imaging or treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S403-S414
JournalJournal of the American College of Radiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • AUC
  • Appropriate Use Criteria
  • Appropriateness Criteria
  • Autologous
  • Breast cancer
  • Implant
  • Mastectomy
  • Reconstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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