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More Women Are Having Reconstruction Surgery After Breast Cancer Treatment: Study

Update Date: Oct 05, 2014 07:19 PM EDT

An increasing number of breast cancer patients in the United States are having breast reconstruction surgery immediately after mastectomy, according to a new study. 

This steady increase over the past 15 years is especially notable among women who were once considered too high-risk for breast reconstruction surgery, including those aged 65 and older, those who have had radiation therapy and those who had advanced breast cancer or co-existing health problems such as obesity or diabetes, the press release added. 

According to the study, surgeons and patients have increased confidence in breast reconstruction surgery. 

"Implants provide a very simple and straightforward method of reconstruction compared with using one's own abdominal tissues," lead investigator Dr. Evan Matros, assistant professor of surgery and health outcomes research in the department of surgery, division of plastic and reconstructive surgery, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, said in a journal news release.

"One reason why we think implants are a good solution in high-risk patients is that, in the case of a failure, the surgeon simply removes the implant. If a patient has a complication after abdominal tissue reconstruction, it's a much lengthier problem and more difficult to deal with," Matros said.

The study is based on the data from more than one million breast cancer patients who had a mastectomy between 1998 and 2011. 

The findings were released in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

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