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How will my reconstructed breasts be monitored for cancer?

If you have a unilateral mastectomy and reconstruction, it is essential that you have regular mammograms of the unaffected breast. Mammograms of the reconstructed breast are typically not recommended. For both the reconstructed breast and the unaffected breast, consult your breast surgeon, gynecologist and oncologist for current recommendations about monthly self examinations, and physical examinations performed by your specialist. For silicone gel implants, the FDA recommends MRI evaluation of the implant at 3 years, and every 2 years thereafter. The purpose of the MRI in this setting is to screen for silent implant ruptures (not to screen for cancer recurrence). Implants can also be monitored with new digital screening techniques. Patients can get information on this from their radiologist.

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