Doctors Failing to Inform Women with Breast Cancer of Reconstructive Surgery Options
Approximately 66,000 women in the U.S. have a mastectomy each year and about 57,000 women have reconstructive breast surgery. Implant surgery, which initially involves the least surgery and shortest recovery time, is the most popular breast reconstructive method in the U.S., but implants also can lead to future problems and additional surgeries. Newer procedures, called flaps, generally involve transplanting a wedge of fat tissue and blood vessels from the abdomen or buttocks and reforming them into new breasts. The most common flap procedure, called a TRAM flap, uses abdominal fat and muscle containing blood vessels to rebuild the breast. A newer technique, called the DIEP free flap, uses fat only and does not use abdominal muscle.
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