Many women eligible for breast reconstruction following cancer surgery are unaware of their options. Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day aims to give women hope and confidence through the gift of skin donation. Studies indicate that:
89% of women want to see breast reconstruction surgery results before undergoing cancer treatment;
- 23% of women know the wide range of breast reconstruction options available;
- Only 22% of women are familiar with the quality of outcomes that can be expected;
- Only 19% of women understand that the timing of their treatment for breast cancer and the timing of their decision to undergo reconstruction greatly impacts their options and results.
WHAT IS BREAST RECONSTRUCTION?
Breast reconstruction is achieved through several plastic surgery techniques that attempt to restore a breast to near normal shape, appearance and size following mastectomy. Although breast reconstruction can rebuild your breast, results are highly variable.
A reconstructed breast will not have the same sensation and feel as the breast it replaces and visible incision lines will always be present on the breast, whether from reconstruction or mastectomy. Certain surgical techniques will leave incision lines at the donor site, commonly located in less exposed areas of the body such as the back, abdomen or buttocks.
BREAST RECONSTRUCTION CANDIDATES
Breast reconstruction is a highly individualized procedure. You should consider and do it for yourself, not for anyone else, or to try to fulfill any sort of ideal image.
Breast reconstruction is a good option for you if:
- You do not have additional medical conditions or other illnesses that may impair healing;
- You have a positive outlook and realistic goals for restoring your breast and body image.
Breast reconstruction typically involves several procedures performed in multiple stages. It can:
- Begin at the same time as mastectomy;
- Be delayed until you heal from mastectomy and recover from any additional cancer treatments.
Breast reconstruction can be physically and emotionally rewarding and can improve quality of life. There are many options and costs can vary. Learn more by visiting www.breastreconusa.org.