Breast reconstruction after cancer surgery used to be reserved for a wealthy few. The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1997 changed that forever. Then, in 1998, legislation declared breast reconstruction following mastectomy to be a right in the United States. Since those early times, breast reconstruction following treatment for has continually improved.
Breast Reconstruction: A Brief History of Empowerment
In celebration of breast cancer awareness, we focus our attention in this article on breast reconstruction surgery.
Today, nearly 40% of women undergo breast reconstruction after enduring a mastectomy. Then the American Society of Plastic Surgeons estimated women had breast reconstruction surgery in record-breaking numbers. More than 106,000 procedures occurred in 2017.
This is far different from the old days when women knew nothing of their rights. They also knew very little about the techniques of breast-reconstruction surgery.
Statistics have shown that women who have breast reconstruction after devastating cancer breast greatly improve “psycho-social” and physical sense of well-being.
Life Quality after Cancer: Closing the Loop
At Altiora, breast reconstruction patients can expect to gain a return to normalcy and wholeness after breast cancer disfigured their lives. Some patients come to us to help plan reconstruction even while planning the mastectomy. Some women return to us shortly after their mastectomy surgeries. Others wait a number of years before they are ready to embrace the reconstruction phase of their dark journey into cancer. All are welcomed with, gentleness, confidentiality, and compassion.
Closing the Loop for Lumpectomy Patients
Among the most pleasantly surprised of our breast reconstruction patients are those who had small cancers removed. It was usually performed with radiation therapy years ago. This surgery is termed “lumpectomy.” We also include those with larger, partial mastectomies in this group. The resulting deformity from tissue loss and fibrosis can be a daily reminder that cancer has disfigured a woman’s life.
Some women choose the scars, and that’s okay. However, for others, the deformity can be considered distracting and damaging to a woman’s sense of well-being. And plastic surgery can help her complete her recovery with a better outlook on life after cancer.
Moreover, remember, the law gives her the right to this surgery.
So, here at Altiora Plastic Surgery & Medspa, we do not have to look very far to see how this surgery improves the psychological and physical well-being of our patients.
New strides in technique and technology in recent years century has boosted knowledge and confidence in the surgery and its psychological results. This rings true whether the patient has waited a year or ten years before accepting reconstruction surgery. These are just a few of the positive attributes of this surgery.
- satisfaction with breast appearance
- and sexual well-being.
- And we are pleased to add that today, there are very few contraindications to breast-reconstruction surgery other than the toleration of general anesthesia.
Breast Cancer Awareness Extends to Breast Reconstruction Awareness
Dr. Scot Glasberg is the president of the American Society of Plastic Surgery. Dr. Glasberg stated, “It’s encouraging to see a significant rise in breast reconstruction rates…” He continued, “studies show that reconstruction can greatly improve a patient’s quality of life and self-image.”
In the Name of Symmetrical Balance, Beauty, and Self-Affirmation
For example, breast reconstruction might include reduction or augmentation for both the affected breast and the scarred one. This could happen in breast reconstruction, even if both breasts were not involved in the initial surgery.
This sizing of the breasts is as important as the shaping of the breast in order to attain symmetry.
Likewise, depending on age and skin texture, a breast lift might be the most important part of breast reconstruction after cancer surgery. These are a few points remain true.
- After breast reconstruction, clothes will fit better.
- And the appearance of a woman’s breast area will be more symmetrical.
- After all, that part of the human anatomy is known as “the breast” or the “bosom.” And as such, it should appear as asymmetrical as possible.
- And yes, we have found most women want to have a symmetrical chest or breast area.
Breast Reconstruction at Altiora Plastic Surgery & Medspa
Education is the key to understanding your breast reconstruction rights. Part of the reason these surgeries have increased is that more women are finding out the correct information about their available options.
At Altiora, your confidential consultation with Dr. Cicilioni will bring you an updated awareness of your choices. Then, it’s safe to say that progress in this surgical area has been enlightened. It’s not your grandmother’s or even your mother’s breast reconstruction surgery anymore.
There are new techniques. From surgeons who have continued their educations have come new developments every phase of breast reconstruction.
- New advances in anesthesia,
- new progress in pain management,
- and new surgical techniques in delicate tissue handling have modernized breast reconstruction surgery.
Dr. Orlando Cicilioni believes you should be well informed and empowered about your rights and options. Because every woman has her own story. He listens. He helps each woman to make an informed decision about her appearance. Together, you and your surgeon will look beyond the surgery. And then, you will look beyond the scarring, the disfigurement, and the asymmetry. Listening and creating a treatment plan that works on every level for the patient are skills Dr. Orlando has honed over the years.
A National Campaign that Has Ignited Breast Reconstruction Awareness
In 2015 we first reported to you about the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’online resource for Breast Reconstruction Awareness.
At Altiora Plastic Surgery & Medispa, doctors, patients, and staff give the above-named association a lot of credit for the rise in the number of informed breast cancer patients. We are happy about the number of well-informed patients who have had their quality of life improved by reconstructive breast surgery. However, we know there is more work to do and more women to alert. We must continue to make more women aware of their options and their rights.
We knew it would take years to inform the public about the options women have after mastectomy. However, we have seen attitudes slowly changing. That’s why this program is a multi-year Breast Reconstruction Awareness Campaign.
“The Breast Reconstruction Awareness Campaign promotes education and awareness. Additionally, it provides access to breast reconstruction for women who have undergone lumpectomy or mastectomy due to breast cancer.” (Learn more at their onsite resource. )
Breast Reconstruction and You: Come Heal by the Sea in Sarasota
During consultation here in Sarasota, Fl., patients enjoy Dr. Cicilioni’s compassionate demeanor at Altiora Plastic Surgery & Medspa. Dr. C’s communication skills, artistic surgical skill and years of medical experience quickly relaxes his patients. Then the doctor and patient can discuss what will be right for her individual case.
The result is that the right knowledge can empower women to make the right decisions about breast reconstruction.
We have been successful in educating women about their options. However, the sad fact remains that many other women do not know their options.
However, every woman knows about that pink ribbon for this month’s breast cancer awareness. And the doctor can help you understand how to close the loop on cancer, with the breast reconstruction surgery that’s right for you.
And let us not be shy about informing a friend or a loved one that there are new breast reconstruction options. Ultimately we know such surgery is a delicate but critical matter of personal choice.
Closing The Loop About Breast Reconstruction
Join us in spreading the word about the new techniques and technologies available in surgery after mastectomy. Then, think of that beautiful pink October ribbon, and join us in saying, “It’s time to close the loop on breast cancer.”
Thank you for reading our blog this week. And please join us for more vital information on Breast Cancer Awareness and Reconstruction alerts, in Part II of this series. It is entitled Closing the Loop On Breast Cancer.