The results of a study are important for significantly obese women who are considering breast reconstruction after mastectomy.
BMI, or body mass index, is a reliable indicator of total body fat for men and women. BMI looks at weight and height to estimate body fat. Women with a BMI higher than 35 were much more likely than women with a BMI lower than 35 to have surgical complications (such as infection) and unsatisfactory cosmetic results after reconstruction. This was true for all types of reconstruction.
If you are significantly obese, you should talk to your doctor about these results as you make decisions about breast reconstruction. One option might be to delay reconstruction and try to lose some weight.
Losing weight is hard work, especially when you're dealing with breast cancer. But it can be done with very careful changes to your diet and exercise. Be kind to yourself; don't punish yourself.
To learn more about healthy eating and losing weight, visit our pages on Losing Weight After Treatment.
Visit our Reconstruction Section to learn more about breast reconstruction, including options and timing.