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Early Post-Operative Results for Delayed Unilateral Flap Reconstruction following Mastectomy and Radiation

Occasionally, patients undergo mastectomy and then follow with radiation therapy. When these patients undergo breast reconstruction, we use the term delayed breast reconstruction. The term delayed reconstruction is utilized to characterize a reconstruction that occurs after a mastectomy and other treatments versus an immediate reconstruction that occurs in whole or in part simultaneously with the mastectomy.

When the skin that remains following a mastectomy has been radiated, reconstruction with autologous tissue becomes a realistic option. In the delayed reconstruction, the internal mammary vessels are still a viable option for recipient vessels and other options for additional venous outflow such as the cephalic vein can be utilized.

The photograph depicts a left unilateral reconstruction utilizing an abdominal based flap. The right breast underwent mastopexy or breast lift for symmetry. 

Author Info

Brian Dickinson

Dr. Dickinson is a Board Certified Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon operating out of Newport Beach, California. He believes that the reconstructive and aesthetic surgical principles appropriately complement each other and share's his techniques and advice freely.