Breast Cancer

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 259–267 | Cite as

A review of breast imaging following mastectomy with or without reconstruction in an outpatient community center

  • Stamatia Destounis
  • Renee Morgan
  • Andrea Arieno
  • Posy Seifert
  • Patricia Somerville
  • Philip Murphy
Review Article


Despite developments in surgical technique, radiation treatment, and chemotherapeutic agents, tumor recurrence and distant disease have remained a major concern in breast cancer management. Breast imaging after mastectomy in the screening arena remains a controversial topic for breast imagers. Many feel the yield of finding a recurrent cancer with imaging in the asymptomatic patient is too low to be beneficial; others believe imaging should be performed on these patients as the risk of recurrence exists. Patients after a mastectomy procedure are considered high risk and, when they present with clinical symptoms, will require evaluation by the radiologist. In this diagnostic/symptomatic scenario, imaging becomes the routine and current imaging tools, such as mammography, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), can easily be incorporated to diagnose recurrent cancer. Our facility has a large population of patients that undergo mastectomy after a carcinoma diagnosis as well as a number of patients that have undergone a mastectomy procedure because of their high-risk status (whether family history or genetic predisposition). A certain percentage of these patients have proceeded to reconstructive surgery. We image these patients routinely as part of our screening protocol. Over the years we have become familiar with the appearance of remaining tissue along the chest wall after mastectomy as well as the reconstructed breasts. This familiarity is important as the imaging of these patients with mammography and other modalities available today can be challenging. This manuscript will discuss the benefits and some limitations surrounding imaging these patients, in both the asymptomatic and symptomatic scenarios, as well as what imaging protocols can be integrated within a facility’s standard evaluation.


Mastectomy Breast Ultrasound MRI Local recurrence Breast reconstruction 


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Breast Cancer Society 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stamatia Destounis
    • 1
  • Renee Morgan
    • 1
  • Andrea Arieno
    • 1
  • Posy Seifert
    • 1
  • Patricia Somerville
    • 1
  • Philip Murphy
    • 1
  1. 1.Elizabeth Wende Breast Care, LLCRochesterUSA

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