The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends “Offer both breast reconstruction options to women (immediate reconstruction and delayed reconstruction), whether or not they are available locally”. The decision whether to have or not have a reconstruction is a very personal one and there is no right answer.
There are 2 Simple questions for the patient to answer:
-Do you want an Immediate or delayed reconstruction?
-Do you want to use your own tissue (autologous) or implant?
In a delayed reconstruction the lady will choose or occasionally be recommended no initial reconstruction. As a result, the skin and breast tissue volume removed at the initial operation. Therefore, at the time of a delayed reconstruction, the initial breast cancer treatment is complete. For the reconstruction skin and volume is needed. It may be preferred to use one’s own tissue rather than an implant.
In an immediate reconstruction, we will need to consider what anti-cancer therapies may be recommended following surgery. This may involve radiotherapy which can damage the type of reconstruction. Available options include use of an implant or one’s own tissue.
We will counsel you about the complications of any breast reconstruction and that often it is a process requiring potentially multiple operations.