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JAMA Insights
Clinical Update
September 25, 2018

Breast Reconstruction Following Breast Cancer Treatment—2018

Author Affiliations
  • 1Stanford Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, Palo Alto, California
  • 2Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California
JAMA. 2018;320(12):1277-1278. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.12190

In 1998, breast reconstruction following mastectomy was legislated as a right in the United States following passage of the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1997. Since that time, breast cancer treatment and subsequent surgical reconstruction have greatly improved.1 Nearly 40% of women undergo reconstruction following mastectomy,2 and recent reporting from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons estimates that more than 106 000 reconstructive breast procedures occurred in 2017.3 Improving psychosocial and physical well-being is the cornerstone of reconstruction—a concept supported by studies of patient-reported outcomes.4 Additional gains since passage of the act include improved satisfaction with breast appearance and sexual well-being. There are few absolute contraindications to reconstruction other than the inability to tolerate general anesthesia.

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