A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology reveals that more breast cancer patients across the United States are opting for reconstructive breast surgery.

According to a HealthDay News press release published on Tuesday, February 18, the number of women who underwent this type of procedure following a mastectomy increased 20 percent between 1998 and 2007. Additionally, more and more women who are at high risk of developing breast cancer are choosing to have double mastectomies as a preventative measure. Among this group of women, approximately 75 percent get breast reconstructive surgery, reports the source.

“I think the rising number of women choosing to have [preventive] double mastectomy has gone up in part because advances in reconstructive techniques allow them to feel more confident that they will look good after mastectomy,” Dr. Oren Lerman, director of breast reconstruction at the Institute for Comprehensive Breast Care at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said in a press statement. “The increase in percentage of women having reconstruction [after breast cancer] is probably more related to better access to information and plastic surgeons.”

Interestingly, the source notes that the data varied quite a bit depending on where women live. For example, 80 percent of women in Washington, D.C. opted for reconstructive surgery following a mastectomy compared to just 18 percent in North Dakota.

If you have undergone a mastectomy and are interested in learning more about different types of breast surgery, the board certified plastic surgeons at The Lett Center are here to answer any questions you may have.