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December 1977

Breast Reconstruction Following Mastectomy for Carcinoma

Author Affiliations

Brookline, Mass

Arch Surg. 1977;112(12):1505-1506. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1977.01370120095015

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Although reconstruction of the breast after mastectomy has been attempted since Czerny's original report of 1895, only recently has the procedure gained significant acceptance from both patients and physicians. Responsible for this change of attitude have been several factors, medical, sociological, and technological. Fewer radical procedures are being performed for cancer of the breast, thereby facilitating reconstruction. Furthermore, in a favorable lesion, present techniques of irradiation generally spare tissue sufficiently to permit breast rebuilding. Also, so characteristic of our post-Freudian era is the recognition that emotions are real and deserve expression, even those relating to intimate parts of the body. In contrast to the Victorian times, for example, it is not now unusual for a female patient to tell her doctor her feelings of loss, anger, anguish, and, perhaps, sexual inadequacy arising from her missing breast. The development of the silicone prosthesis has been a noteworthy technical advance, though admittedly

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