For many women, breast reconstruction is an important component of the recovery process following a mastectomy to treat breast cancer. However, it is important to understand every aspect of this procedure as well as all of your options before deciding whether breast reconstruction is right for you. Unfortunately, it appears that many women lack the necessary knowledge to make a fully informed decision.
A recent study conducted at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill analyzed survey responses from 126 women who had recently undergone a mastectomy. The results of this study showed that the vast majority of patients do not fully understand their options:
- The average score achieved by women answering the questions on this survey was 59%
- 70% of women were able to answer at least half the questions correctly
- 14% of women knew the correct likelihood of major complications following breast reconstruction -- most women underestimated this risk
- 40% of women knew that breast cancer patients are generally equally satisfied following a mastectomy regardless of whether they undergo breast reconstruction
- 60% of women knew that breast reconstruction will not impact cancer detection in future screenings
- 75% of women were aware that breast reconstruction has no impact on whether cancer will return
In addition, most women were not able to list the primary benefits of breast reconstruction, which include improved body image after mastectomy and avoiding the need for a prosthetic breast device.
More alarmingly, even fewer women were able to identify the most common potential complications, including delayed healing, risk of infection, a prolonged recovery, and the potential need for a revision procedure. While these risks are extremely rare, it is still important to be aware of their possibility before deciding whether to undergo breast reconstruction.
Dr. Ali Mosharrafa and Dr. Tamir Mosharrafa have made patient education an important component of their treatment. During your initial breast reconstruction consultation, Dr. Ali and Dr. Tamir will discuss your procedure with you in great detail, including all potential risks and benefits. In order to ensure you have the knowledge to make a fully informed decision, you should ask Dr. Ali and Dr. Tamir any questions you may have at this time.
Please contact Mosharrafa Plastic Surgery using the form on this page or call602-513-8133 today to schedule your breast reconstruction consultation. We serve patients in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Paradise Valley, Arizona. We are accustomed to caring for patients who travel from out of the area as well.