The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 268,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2018. Here's what you should tell clients about breast reconstruction.
"Many women feel that breast reconstruction improves their quality of life," says plastic surgeon and reconstruction specialist Constance M. Chen M.D. "And while there are geographical and socioeconomic disparities that prevent all women from having equal access to care, there is also a lack of information that enables outdated misconceptions to persist. In order to deliver the best possible care, we must put these myths to rest and provide comprehensive information that helps each woman make the decision that is best for her."
Here are three common myths and how to correct them:
1. There is a large wait time between a mastectomy and reconstruction.
Often women can have reconstruction during the same surgery of the mastectomy. This also allows the surgeon to preserve skin and minimize scarring.
2. Implants will be uncomfortable and look unnatural. New materials and techniques have made them more aesthetically pleasing and comfortable. The other option is to use the patient’s own tissue, usually from the abdomen, to recreate the breast.
3. Reconstruction is not possible if the patients has had or will need radiation or chemotherapy. Determining the timing and type of reconstruction is important in this situation, but it does not rule out reconstruction.