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Breast Reconstruction after Breast Cancer

Serletti, Joseph M. M.D.; Fosnot, Joshua M.D.; Nelson, Jonas A. M.D.; Disa, Joseph J. M.D.; Bucky, Louis P. M.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: June 2011 - Volume 127 - Issue 6 - p 124e-135e
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e318213a2e6
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Learning Objectives: After reading this article, the participant should be able to: 1. Describe the mental, emotional, and physical benefits of reconstruction in breast cancer patients. 2. Compare the most common techniques of reconstruction in patients and detail benefits and risks associated with each. 3. Outline different methods of reconstruction and identify the method considered best for the patient based on timing of the procedures, body type, adjuvant therapies, and other coexisting conditions. 4. Distinguish between some of the different flaps that can be considered for autologous reconstruction.

Summary: Breast cancer is unfortunately a common disease affecting millions of women, often at a relatively young age. Reconstruction following mastectomy offers women an opportunity to mollify some of the emotional and aesthetic effects of this devastating disease. Although varying techniques of alloplastic and autologous techniques are available, all strive to achieve the same goal: the satisfactory reformation of a breast mound that appears as natural as possible without clothing and at the very least is normal in appearance under clothing. This article summarizes the various approaches to breast reconstruction and offers a balanced view of the risks and benefits of each, all of which in the end offer the opportunity for excellent and predictable results with a high degree of patient satisfaction.


Philadelphia, Pa.; and New York, N.Y.

From the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University of Pennsylvania Health System; the Department of General Surgery, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania; Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; and Division of Plastic Surgery, Pennsylvania Hospital.

Received for publication September 2, 2010; accepted November 17, 2010.

Disclosure:The authors have no financial interest to declare in relation to the content of this article.

Related Video content is available for this article. The videos can be found under the “Related Videos” section of the full-text article, or, for Ovid users, using the URL citations printed in the article.

Joseph M. Serletti, M.D., Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University of Pennsylvania Health System, 10 Penn Tower, 3400 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19104,

©2011American Society of Plastic Surgeons