A recent review published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons explores some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding breast reconstruction for cancer survivors, pointing out that only 40 percent of breast cancer patients who get mastectomies choose to have immediate breast reconstruction. While it is certainly each individual’s prerogative to choose whether or not plastic surgery is right for them, the authors quite correctly point out that they should have all of the information available when making that decision.
“As surgeons, it’s easy to think that the most powerful thing we do is with our hands and scalpels, but the conversation we have with women about their prognosis and their options after surgery is also very important,” lead study author Lisa Schneider, M.D., tells Reuters Health.
Here are some of the researchers’ findings, from reviewing an array of previous studies:
Myth: Breast reconstruction increases the risk of complications
According to the review, the risk of medical complications is about the same for patients who had reconstructive surgery and those who didn’t.
Myth: Reconstruction increases the chance of cancer recurrence
Multiple respected studies over a period of two decades found that the chance of recurrence does not, in fact, go up after plastic surgery.
Myth: Reconstructive surgery doesn’t make a difference
The study found a link between breast reconstruction and improved mental health, body image and social wellness.
Myth: The surgery is too expensive
Reuters Health reports that under U.S. law, insurance companies are required to cover the costs of breast reconstruction for cancer patients.
For patients who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, Dr. Lett explains the process of choosing the right board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon for breast reconstruction in this video.
If you are interested in learning more about breast reconstruction, schedule an initial consultation with Dwayne Lett, M.D., one of the most reputable plastic surgeons in Mt. Juliet and Lebanon. Contact The Lett Center today.