Dr. L. Raúl Arroyo

Dr. L. Raúl Arroyo, Breast Surgeon with Bethesda Hospital, Baptist Health, says having the breast reconstruction done immediately at the time of the mastectomy has some benefits. For example, going in for a mastectomy, but waking up and still having fullness in the breast is very important for patients psychologically.

He points out there are patients who can have their mastectomy and also have the one-stage reconstruction, where the plastic surgeon will perform the reconstruction with no further surgery necessary as far as reconstructing the breast. Dr. L. Raúl Arroyo, Breast Surgeon with Bethesda Hospital, Baptist Health, says women have the choice to start their mammograms at age 40. He explains the guideline he follows is that in the absence of any particular or specific family or personal history, a woman who is at average risk for breast cancer should start the mammograms at age 40.

He points out mammograms before age 30 are not recommended because the breast tissue is so dense that it does not give the necessary information, but women who have family history of breast cancer or genetic mutations will start imaging at a younger age with MRI and ultrasound. Dr. L. Raúl Arroyo, Breast Surgeon with Bethesda Hospital, Baptist Health, says they are different types of mastectomy: one is the modified radical mastectomy, which consists of removing the breast and the skin and the chest remains flat. Then, there is the evolution of that to a skin-sparing mastectomy, where the nipple and areola are removed, but the skin is retained as much as possible.

He also explains there is also the nipple-sparing mastectomy, where the entire breast is preserved including the nipple, by removing breast tissue from underneath the skin, and then reconstructing it to make it look as close to the original as possible.

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