Breast reconstruction following mastectomy for cancer is a feasible procedure. The selection of the proper type of mastectomy should be the decision of the cancer surgeon. However, with the advent of modified mastectomies, the use of fewer primary skin grafts, and the preservation of all or part of the pectoralis major muscle, breast reconstruction has become more satisfactory. Since many women adjust poorly to mastectomy, the chance for reconstruction offers hope for a fuller life. Reconstruction of the postmastectomy cancer patient can be accomplished in three basic steps: 1) An adequate breast mound can be constructed with a prosthesis. A flap may be used if the skin cover is inadequate. 2) The size and shape of the remaining breast can be adjusted to obtain symmetry. 3) The nipple-areola complex can be reconstructed if the patient desires. Correction of the infra-clavicular and axillary defects may be required. The techniques employed in 14 patients are presented.
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