Immediate reconstruction (Primary reconstruction) is when the breast reconstruction is carried out at the same time as the surgery for your breast cancer. As with every procedure there are ‘pros and cons’ to reconstruction at the same time as mastectomy.
- Mastectomy and reconstruction at the same time means that there is no delay between the two. Some experts feel that this minimises the physiological impact of mastectomy. It should be stressed that this is not true for all patients.
- Reconstruction and cancer surgery at the same time means that for the more major reconstructive methods such as those that use your own tissue only one operation is necessary, which means only one hospital stay.
- The patient is never without a ‘breast’.
- Depending on methods used the immediate breast reconstruction tends to achieve better cosmetic results, with smaller scars.
- It is sometimes very difficult for the patient and their family to grasp all the information and understand the implications of reconstruction at an already difficult time.
- There may, in exceptional cases be complications associated with the additional reconstructive surgery, which could then lead to further surgery to treat the complications so as not to delay other recommended treatments for your cancer i.e. chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
- The two procedures at the same time make the surgery time longer and often the hospital stay as well.
- Radiotherapy may affect the aesthetic outcome of the reconstruction