Essential elements of the preoperative breast reconstruction evaluation
A plethora of options exist for breast reconstruction and preoperative evaluation must be thorough to lead to a successful outcome. We review multiple components of the preoperative assessment including the patient’s history, goals, imaging, and key elements of the physical exam. Consideration for tumor biology, staging, need or response to chemotherapy or radiation therapy is important in deciding on immediate versus delayed reconstruction. It is also important to consider the patient’s anatomy, breast size and whether the reconstruction will be unilateral or bilateral. The reconstructive surgeon must accommodate all these factors to consider partial or complete mastectomy defects and guide the patient to the most appropriate reconstructive technique whether it be an oncoplastic reduction mammoplasty, expanderbased reconstruction, immediate implant reconstruction, or immediate versus delayed autologous tissue reconstruction such as the deep inferior epigastric artery perforator (DIEP)/transverse rectus abdominis muscle (TRAM), latissimus, transverse upper gracilis (TUG)/profunda femoris artery perforator (PAP), or gluteal artery perforator (GAP) flaps.