Screening after lift or reduction?


Question from Marietta: If you decide to have a reduction or lift on the other breast, does it make it harder to catch the start of a tumor on that breast?
Answers - Maurice Nahabedian The answer would be no. I generally recommend a mammography four to six months after I do a reduction or a lift, and that will establish a new baseline for the breast so that the mammographers will be able to pick out any changes. Interestingly, there was one study that came out in the plastic surgery literature two to three years ago that demonstrated a reduced incidence of breast cancer in women who have had breast reduction surgery. I think probably the reason why is that you're removing a well-defined amount of breast tissue, so you're eliminating some of that tissue that could potentially become cancerous. Still, I wouldn't rely on this as a method of reducing your risk.
Marisa Weiss, M.D. If your plastic surgeon removes tissue from the other breast when doing a "lift," make sure that piece of breast tissue is sent to the pathology lab for tissue evaluation to make sure there is no sign of any unexpected cancer cells in there. Also, in general, after a breast lift, the scar tissue improves and eventually stabilizes on serial mammograms. This is different from a cancer-like process that increases over time.

On Wednesday, November 19, 2003, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Breast Reconstruction. Maurice Nahabedian, M.D. and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answered your questions about different techniques in breast reconstruction, the pros and cons of implants and body tissue transfers, when you might want to reconstruct, and many more issues related to rebuilding your breast/s after breast cancer surgery.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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