Biopsy on implant? Chance of recurrence?

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Question from LeticiaS: My aunt had a double mastectomy more than 5 years ago. She recently had a mammogram that looked suspicious and her doctor would like her to have a biopsy. My question is this: (1) Can a biopsy be done on an implant? and (2) What is the likelihood of having cancer recur after you have had surgery and have breast implants? Is prognosis good? Thanks for your help.
Answers - Jennifer Sabol, M.D., F.A.C.S. If she truly had a bilateral mastectomy there should be less than 1 percent of the breast tissue still available to be at risk. Some patients may still develop a recurrence after the mastectomy and nationally that rate for early stage cancers is rather low, between 1 to 3 percent. But it may be as high as 20 to 25 percent if the cancer was initially locally advanced. It is considered unusual to order a mammogram on a reconstructed breast because there is generally very little left to see. If there is truly an abnormality seen on the mammogram, there are ways that a biopsy can be performed. In general, it's not the implant that is being biopsied, but the small amount of breast tissue left over or under the breast implant. Unfortunately, I'm not sure what you are referring to with your question about prognosis. However, patients with an isolated chest wall recurrence can be successfully treated, often with additional surgical resection of the recurrence, and radiation. So, surgery and radiation.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Reconstruction Updates featured Joseph Serletti, M.D. and moderator Jennifer Sabol, M.D. answering your questions about breast reconstruction.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in May 2007.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of 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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Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

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