After a partial, complete, or radical mastectomy, the patient has to contend not only with the possibility of death from disease but also with the reality of deformity from treatment. Too infrequently does the surgeon who removed the breast suggest reconstruction or even support the patient's desire for it. To the patient's detriment, there has been a regrettable absence of consultation and sharing of skills between the oncological-ablative surgeon and the plastic-reconstructive surgeon.
In practical terms, what can the reconstructive surgeon offer for the patient undergoing a mastectomy?
If, for example, a simple mastectomy is contemplated, the incision can be chosen with reference to future reconstruction. After such a mastectomy, with or without radiation, there is usually enough tissue to accommodate a prosthesis, generally of silicone, to give the semblance of a breast. A transverse, instead of a vertical, incision at the time of the initial mastectomy will facilitate prosthesis