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Immediate Breast Reconstruction Following Mastectomy Surgery

A new study presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium indicates that very few women opt to have immediate breast reconstruction following a mastectomy, despite the noted benefits of immediate reconstruction.  The study looked at data from nearly 107,000 women who had mastectomy surgery between years 2000 and 2010.  Researchers examined the frequency of breast reconstruction controlling for factors such as age, race, insurance, and total procedure performed in the hospital.  The conclusion was that barely 23% of these women elected to have immediate breast reconstruction.  However, overall results show that breast reconstruction has been on the rise since 2000 – especially in women who have health insurance and in women under the age of 50.  Reasons women cited for not having immediate breast reconstruction included lack of health insurance, other health problems, and rural location without a teaching hospital. Though this study focused on immediate reconstruction – basically, reconstructive surgery that occurs very near the time of the mastectomy, the study did not contemplate the rate of non-immediate breast reconstruction.

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