Breast reconstruction: Updated overview for primary care physicians.
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OBJECTIVE: To offer primary care providers a comprehensive summary of breast reconstruction options and complications. QUALITY OF EVIDENCE: A literature search was conducted in PubMed with no time restriction using the search terms breast reconstruction, summary, review, complications, and options. Levels of evidence range from I to III. MAIN MESSAGE: As breast cancer survival rates increase, the focus of breast cancer management must shift to include the restoration of a patient's quality of life after cancer. Breast reconstruction plays a crucial role in the restoration of normality for these women. Women who undergo mastectomy often suffer from challenges related to body image, self-esteem, and a decrease in quality of life scores. Cancer Care Ontario's Breast Cancer Treatment Pathway Map mandates that all women diagnosed with breast cancer who might require mastectomy be referred to a plastic surgeon to discuss reconstructive options before surgery. CONCLUSION: The knowledge and guidance of primary care providers is critical to effectively guiding and supporting patients who might undergo breast reconstruction in their decision-making processes. A thorough understanding of patient selection factors, modern options for breast reconstruction, and expected outcomes is essential.
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