A recent survey (August 2012) by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons found that an overwhelming number of women (89%) diagnosed with breast cancer wanted to see what reconstruction results would look like before they started any treatment. Further, only 23% of these women knew of the many reconstruction options available and only 19% understood how the timing of reconstruction can affect both the options available and the results.
As a plastic surgeon who specializes in the breast, I work with dozens of patients each month who are faced with this life-changing situation. I see their fear and their uncertainty. It’s a difficult time, but one that can be alleviated with compassion and the sharing of some enlightening information early on.
In many cases, I recommend to my patients that they have immediate reconstruction at the time of mastectomy. Immediate reconstruction does not impede any post-mastectomy radiation or chemotherapy treatments, but it does help to ease emotional and psychological concerns and preserve feelings of wholeness and femininity.
The breast reconstruction procedure we employ minimizes pain and discomfort and reduces recovery times. Most patients are able to return home within 24 hours following the initial surgery. Best of all, the final result is breasts that closely resemble the shape and appearance of those you had prior to the mastectomy.
When it comes to your body, information is key. My goal is to answer all your questions and give you the answers you need to help you feel comfortable and confident about your options.