Mastectomy and Breast Reconstruction

Breast reconstruction can be performed immediately or at a later date.  The timing and type of breast reconstruction performed is dependent on a variety of factors

Breast reconstruction generally falls into two categories: implant-based reconstruction or flap reconstruction. Implant reconstruction relies on breast implants to help form a new breast mound. Flap (or autologous) reconstruction uses the patient's own tissue from another part of the body to form a new breast  Procedures and timing may vary by region and plastic surgeon.

For indepth information on types of breast reconstruction, visit the Amercian Society of Plastic Surgeons'  Breast Reconstruction Education Center

Mastectomy is the medical term for the surgical removal of one or both breasts, partially or completely

A mastectomy is usually carried out to treat breast cancer. In the case of HBOC syndrome carriers who are at high risk of breast cancer, removal of both breasts is often recommended prophylactically (prevanatively).  The need for frequent surveillance, numerous biopsies, and the fear of developing cancer can be reduced, if not eliminated, with prophylactic mastectomy.  Most statistics report the procedure reduces breast cancer risk by up to 95%, but according to Dr. Steven Narod, leader in the field of hereditary breast cancer, prophylactic double-mastectomy reduces cancer risk by at least 98%,  Obviously, this procedure is usually carried out on a woman, but can also be performed on male carriers whose risk warrants it.