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Immediate vs. Delayed Breast Reconstruction

Receiving a diagnosis of breast cancer can turn everything into a chaotic blur as you struggle to process the news. Making decisions about your future may be enormously difficult during this time as questions swirl and the unknowns rise. Dr. Steven H. Turkeltaub is a board-certified plastic surgeon who can help you make important decisions about breast reconstruction.

When a mastectomy is performed as a treatment for breast cancer, the woman facing surgery may also elect to undergo breast reconstruction. Such reconstruction can be performed either during the same surgery in which the mastectomy is done or at a later date. Before selecting between immediate versus delayed breast reconstruction, you should consider the relevant factors and the pros and cons of each option as they pertain to your particular situation.

Breast Reconstruction Before and AfterImmediate Breast Reconstruction

Immediate breast reconstruction combines the mastectomy and breast reconstruction in the same surgical session, with the reconstruction performed immediately upon completion of the mastectomy. Some of the benefits of immediate breast reconstruction may include fewer total procedures, a shorter total time span for your reconstruction, and less emotional adjustment. A few disadvantages of this approach include a longer initial recovery period, the potential for some more significant healing issues, a general requirement that the cancer is eradicated, and the potential for some delays in starting adjuvant treatments (radiation and/or chemotherapy) when recommended.

Delayed Breast Reconstruction

Delayed breast reconstruction is performed at a later date, which can be anywhere from months to even years after the mastectomy. This approach allows for a woman to decide whether or not reconstruction is important to her as well as if she truly wants to deal with the rigors, downtime, and commitment associated with these procedures. It also provides time for her to be emotionally and physically prepared for the procedure. The delay will also avoid complications that can occur with immediate reconstruction caused by radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy. Downsides can be the need for more procedures, a longer overall time period for reconstruction, and a potentially more difficult adjustment period.

Weighing Your Options

Ultimately, your unique factors such as the stage of cancer, expected treatments required, your health, lifestyle, and personal preferences will influence your decision to pursue either immediate or delayed breast reconstruction. Dr. Turkeltaub can assist you in arriving at a decision that you can be comfortable and happy with.

To ease the difficulty of your breast cancer diagnosis, schedule your personal consultation for breast reconstruction with Dr. Turkeltaub today. He will discuss all your options with you in detail so that you can make the best decision during this trying time. To schedule your appointment, please call (480) 451–3000 or complete our online contact form.