Post-mastectomy breast reconstruction: an overview of the state of the art, challenges, and prospects
Keywords:Breast reconstruction, Breast cancer surgery, Mastectomy, Autologous reconstruction, Implant-based reconstruction
Breast cancer, which affects approximately 12% of women worldwide, is a leading cause of death and morbidity, and the majority of cases are treated surgically. The loss of one or both breasts to cancer can be devastating and it often has negative physical and psychological impact on women. In order to maintain an outward breast contour, some women turn to temporary solutions, such as breast pads, which are often unsatisfactory. Over the years, patients' perceptions of their bodies, self-esteem levels and quality of life have all improved as a result of less radical breast cancer surgeries and the growing popularity of post-mastectomy breast reconstruction. Therefore, it is recommended that women undergoing breast cancer surgeries be given the choice of breast reconstruction. Nevertheless, accessibility, acceptability, and affordability of breast reconstruction still pose a challenge. Although these limitations exist globally, they are most noticeable in low- and middle-income nations. This article gives an overview of the various considerations and surgical options for breast reconstruction after breast cancer surgery. In addition, it examines some of the challenges to breast reconstruction faced worldwide and discusses recent and future trends which are bound to improve post-mastectomy breast reconstruction techniques and outcomes globally.
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