Breast Reconstruction Surgery and Obese Patients

A breast cancer diagnosis is devastating and the thoughts of being permanently disfigured following a mastectomy only adds to the devastation. According to an industry online publication breast cancer reconstruction surgery in obese women has always been discouraged yet now research is showing that obese women may no longer have to avoid breast reconstruction surgery. The research proves that DIEP (deep inferior epigastric perforator) flap breast reconstruction is in fact safe in the obese population. It may ultimately become the recommended method of abdomen-based breast reconstruction in obese patients with a BMI of less than 40. Traditionally, women with a high BMI were discouraged from choosing breast reconstruction because of the potential risk of complications. When using traditional techniques, there were poor outcomes for the obese population. When conducting a retrospective analysis of 639 DIEP flaps and the hundred 18 patients the conclusion was , “Increasing body mass index predisposes patients to delayed wound healing complications in both flap and donor-site locations, but given a similar flap complication profile and main- tenance of abdominal stability, DIEP flaps are recommended in patients with increased body mass index.” This study is significant especially when obesity is one of the most significant concerns in America today. However, it is important to note that the recommendation is based on patients who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and are seeking breast reconstruction surgery. The obese population who may be seeking cosmetic plastic surgery should consider obtaining and maintaining a stable healthy weight prior to having surgery. Dr. Seify explains to patients who are considering body contouring procedures including abdominoplasty or liposuction that it is imperative that they are at a stable healthy weight prior to surgery. As an elective surgery is important that patients are able to achieve their desires and exceed their expectations. Dr.Seify encourages patients who are considering body contouring procedures including abdominoplasty or liposuction to contact the office and schedule a consultation.

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