Issues related to choice of breast reconstruction in early-stage breast cancer

Kristina O'Shaughnessy, Neil A Fine*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Reconstructive surgeons focus their efforts on refining and developing techniques that optimize oncologic outcome and recreate the most natural breast mound possible. The introduction of perforator flaps offers the potential for faster and more complete recovery, while increasing technical complexity and the risks associated with microsurgical reconstruction. Despite appealing long-lasting results, autologous reconstruction is not the ideal reconstructive choice for every patient. Tissue/expander reconstruction can produce a satisfactory aesthetic outcome and is the reconstruction of choice for most women undergoing breast reconstruction. Immediate autologous reconstruction at the time of mastectomy best resembles the lost breast and favorably withstands radiation, compared with other reconstructive methods. However, the best method for integrating reconstruction and radiation is being actively debated. Placing a tissue expander at the time of mastectomy allows a skin-sparing approach and gives the patient a chance to see how she will feel with an implant. This approach avoids radiation damage to tissue reconstruction flaps, saving them for use later if necessary. This approach, using a tissue expander as a first step, is growing in popularity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-139
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent treatment options in oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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