Current Trends in Postmastectomy Breast Reconstruction

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Postmastectomy immediate breast reconstruction in the U.S. continues to experience an upward trend owing to heightened awareness, innovations in reconstructive technique, growing evidence of improved patient-reported outcomes, and shifts in mastectomy patterns. Women with unilateral breast cancer are increasingly electing to undergo contralateral prophylactic mastectomy, instead of unilateral mastectomy or opting for breast conservation. The ascent in prophylactic surgeries correlates temporally to a shift toward prosthetic methods of reconstruction as the most common technique. Factors associated with the choice for implants include younger age, quicker recovery time, along with documented safety and enhanced aesthetic outcomes with newer generations of devices. Despite advances in autologous transfer, its growth is constrained by the greater technical expertise required to complete microsurgical transfer and potential barriers such as poor relative reimbursement. The increased use of radiation as an adjuvant treatment for management of breast cancer has created additional challenges for plastic surgeons who need to consider the optimal timing and method of breast reconstruction to perform in these patients.

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