Background: Immediate breast reconstruction after mastectomy has increased over the past decade following the unequivocal demonstration of its oncological safety and the availability of reliable methods of reconstruction. Broadly, it is undertaken in the treatment of breast cancer, after prophylactic mastectomy in high-risk patients, and in the management of treatment failure after breast-conserving surgery and radiotherapy. Immediate breast reconstruction can be achieved reliably with a variety of autogenous tissue techniques or prosthetic devices. Careful discussion and evaluation remain vital in choosing the correct technique for the individual patient.
Methods: This review is based primarily on an English language Medline search with secondary references obtained from key articles.
Results and conclusion: Immediate breast reconstruction is a safe and acceptable procedure after mastectomy for cancer; there is no evidence that it has untoward oncological consequences. In the appropriate patient it can be achieved effectively with either prosthetic or autogenous tissue reconstruction. Patient selection is important in order to optimize results, minimize complications and improve quality of life, while simultaneously treating the malignancy. Close cooperation and collaboration between the oncological breast and reconstructive surgeons is desirable in order to achieve these objectives.