What is Delayed Breast Cancer Reconstruction with Heather Karu, M.D.
Heather Karu, M.D., a plastic surgeon at Sanford Health, talks about delayed breast cancer reconstruction surgery for breast cancer patients. This is a way of performing breast reconstruction surgery for patients who have undergone a mastectomy in the past and did not have breast reconstruction surgery done at the time of the mastectomy. Some aggressive breast cancers or those that are close to the skin or involve numerous lymph nodes require delayed reconstruction so that the cancer care team can monitor the status of the cancer treatment for at least a year to ensure the cancer does not redevelop. Once the patient has been cleared for reconstruction, the plastic surgeon discusses the available options and together with the patient decides the best method for reconstruction. In more rural areas, some patients may not be offered breast reconstruction surgery at the time of their mastectomy and decide to do so at a later date. The same implant and flap options are usually available to these patients.