Q. I was diagnosed with breast cancer after I found a lump in my right breast. I went in for my biopsy and found that it was an aggressive strand. Within two weeks it had spread to the other breast causing me to have a double mastectomy. Now I am faced with reconstruction issues. Is there a time limit when I should have it done?

A:If you have not yet had your surgery, ask your surgeon if you are a candidate for immediate reconstruction, which is performed at the time of surgery.  If you have already had your surgery with no reconstruction, then your doctor might want you to wait until after chemotherapy and/or radiation to have your reconstruction.  Talk to a plastic surgeon about timing, and about your options.  They may offer you either a tissue expander with later replacement by an implant, or reconstruction using your own tissue from the abdomen or back.  If you have radiation after a mastectomy, then they may encourage you to do the reconstruction using your own tissue.  Don’t be afraid to seek several opinions from plastic surgeons, and choose who you are most comfortable with.

Best regards,
Heidi Memmel, MD

The expressed opinions, views provided are not intended to treat and/or diagnose any medical condition. When making any decisions regarding your health care, you should always consult with your physician.

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