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Breast Reconstruction Myths: What Every Mastectomy Patient Needs To Know
Posted by Laurence Weider, MD on August 11, 2015
A new review called “De-Mythifying Breast Reconstruction: A Review of Common Misconceptions About Breast Reconstruction” discusses why less than 40 percent of the 16,000 U.S. women who have a mastectomy to remove breast cancer undergo immediate breast reconstruction.
Reconstruction can have major benefits to a woman’s quality of life, and there are options for almost every breast cancer survivor. With geographic and socioeconomic differences, the overall rate has been climbing during the past 20 years and is expected to continue to grow.
Authors Dr. Lisa Schneider and Dr. Babak J. Mehrara say common myths might be stopping some women from having immediate reconstruction. Their review, published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, looks at studies to deduce why many women decide against the procedure.
Schneider and Mehrara say reconstruction improves mental health, social functioning and body image, and can represent that a patient has triumphed over cancer. They found that women are much more likely to undergo reconstruction if their surgeon discusses it during their first meeting.
The review says that — according to several large studies over a 20-year period — reconstruction does not increase a patients’ risk for or affect detection of a cancer recurrence. Some women also fear that breast reconstruction will delay the start of chemotherapy, but the authors found that this is not true.
The benefits of immediate reconstruction are both psychological — because a patient never experiences not having breasts — and physical — allowing the original breast skin to be used to enclose the new implant.
When you visit Weider Plastic Surgery, you will learn about your options as you and Dr. Weider consider which reconstruction method will work best for your body. Our staff is dedicated to making sure that every patient feels comfortable and informed. Call us at 972-566-8444 or contact Weider Plastic Surgery online to schedule your private consultation.