Two-Thirds of Women Skip Reconstruction After Mastectomy

Two-thirds of California women do not have breast reconstruction following mastectomy, according to a study presented on April 10 at the 2010 American Society of Breast Surgeons (ASBrS) annual meeting. A team led by Alicia Holt, MD, surgical fellow at City of Hope Medical Center, Duarte, California, reported data from the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development noting that women who chose post-mastectomy reconstruction rose from 21.4 percent in 2003 to 29.3 percent in 2007. According to Medscape Today writer Carole VanSickle Ellis, the women who had the highest rates of immediate post-surgery reconstruction were those under 40, though African American women were less than half as likely as white women to have reconstruction. Women with Medi-Cal were less likely to have immediate reconstruction than were those with private insurance, and patients who underwent mastectomy at hospitals qualified by the National Cancer Institute or at teaching facilities were also more likely to have the surgery.