Can I Have Reconstruction After Recurrence of Cancer? Should I Go to My Local Surgeon or Elsewhere?

This week, Dr. Richard Kline and Dr. James Craigie of The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction answer your questions.

Q: I have been diagnosed with a second primary breast cancer in the right breast. 13 years ago it was IDC now DCIS. What are my reconstruction options? 

A: I’m sorry you are having to deal with a recurrence. Glad to hear it is DCIS. I imagine you had radiation before and could have mastectomy with immediate reconstruction. If you like I will have my office contact you for a few more details.  I would be glad to set up a phone consult so you could get my opinion right away.

Dr. James Craigie


Q: I was referred by a coworker who was a patient. I’ve had a bilateral mastectomy, expanders and two sets of implants (taken out due to capsular contracture). My plastic surgeon said my body just isn’t taking to the implants and suggests I try DIEP flap reconstruction. My plastic surgeon does them, but my coworker said she recommends more experience. At this point I am torn. She suggested I contact you. I live in Florida and I am very comfortable with my surgeon, but understand the more you do, the better you are. I’ve also had a gastric bypass 10 years ago and I am scheduled for a hysterectomy (via DaVinci robot) Oct 2nd.

A: Thanks for your inquiry, and sorry for the trouble you’ve had.

Having said that, more surgeon experience, having two microsurgeons involved, and using a hospital with a dedicated flap team does potentially provide benefits, probably most so in terms of shorter operating times and increased flap survival rates. We have presently done about 1030 DIEP and GAP flaps, with a 98.4% survival rate, and we would be happy to see you at any time.

However, I would suggest that you consider discussing your concerns with your plastic surgeon, and if he still feels confident he can do it, I think I would give him the benefit of the doubt. Even if you ultimately decide to have your surgery elsewhere, it would be very helpful to have him on board with your decision.

Dr. Richard M. Kline, Jr.

Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction

Have a question about breast reconstruction you’d like answered from our surgical team? Just ask us!