Restore the Look of Your Post-Cancer Treatment Breasts with Gardner Plastic Surgery
Breast cancer affects about one out of every eight women, but despite the known benefits of post-mastectomy reconstructive surgery, many women do not undergo the procedure. In fact, many women remain unaware of available post-cancer treatment reconstructive options that are designed to restore one or both breasts to more closely resemble their original size, shape, appearance, and symmetry. According to research by the Breast Reconstruction Awareness Campaign (BRA):
- Only 23% of women are aware of the wide range of available breast reconstruction options.
- Only 22% are knowledgeable about the quality of expected outcomes.
- And, perhaps most importantly, only 19% understand that timing of both breast cancer treatment and decisions regarding reconstruction significantly impact options and results.
This lack of awareness helped spur the U.S. Government to implement the Breast Cancer Patient Education Act to ensure that breast cancer patients are informed about the availability of breast reconstruction options. The legislation led to the inclusion of breast reconstruction information on the National Cancer Institute’s website as well as ongoing outreach efforts through social media campaigns. The Act also includes provisions designed to notify breast cancer patients that breast cancer insurance coverage typically includes reconstructive surgery, as mandated by the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act.
Research Highlights Reconstruction Benefits
Increasing awareness about the availability of breast reconstruction options is certainly positive, but some women still question how beneficial the surgery is, due in part to a relative lack of information on the subject. Several years ago researchers from the National Institute of Health examined outcomes of breast reconstruction and determined that the procedure offers “improved psychological and cosmetic outcomes” for breast cancer patients who have undergone a mastectomy. Based on the “notable psychological advantages” offered by reconstruction, along with an improved quality of life, the researchers concluded that breast reconstruction “should be offered to all women in an immediate or delayed fashion, with guidance from their physician about the benefits and risks.”
More recently, researchers with the University of Michigan’s Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation determined that in the long term, all patients studied, regardless of type of reconstruction surgery, achieved improved psychosocial well-being and an improved quality of life. The study was one of the first to track patient satisfaction and quality of life two years after reconstruction, and examined outcomes of the two primary reconstruction procedures: implant and flap/natural tissue. Noting that there were “trade-offs” with regard to outcomes and recovery to consider with both procedures, the researchers noted that close doctor-patient collaboration in the decision-making process seems to enhance patient satisfaction and overall outcome.
Gardner Plastic Surgery Relies on Close Consultation
Women facing the challenge of breast cancer who need to weigh their post-mastectomy breast reconstruction options, work in close collaboration with the detail-minded surgeons at Naples, Florida-based Gardner Plastic Surgery. Dr. Paul Gardner and Dr. Leo Baccaro are firm believers in educating their patients about all parameters of every cosmetic procedure. By consulting closely with their patients, Dr. Gardner or Dr. Baccaro can gain a deep understanding of each patient’s aesthetic goals. In return, the surgeons can strategize with the patient on the best means for achieving these goals, while also helping ease any concerns.
Dr. Gardner and Dr. Baccaro have the experience and artistic surgical expertise needed for successful post-mastectomy breast reconstruction. Our practice has earned a reputation for reconstructing natural, aesthetically pleasing breasts that help breast cancer survivors regain their sense of femininity and sexuality. If you’re facing the challenges of breast cancer and concerned about your post-mastectomy options, contact Gardner Plastic Surgery today at 239.566.2611 to schedule your initial consultation.