Completing the Recovery Cycle
While not all women who lose one or both breasts to cancer or another condition feel the desire to have breast reconstructive surgery, many do. Every woman should decide what is right for her, and not feel pressured to conform to anyone else’s ideal or standard. Listen to Dr. Kays talk about BRA Day USA
The very real emotional component of cancer recovery and breast reconstruction must also be carefully considered. All of the physicians of Wilmington Plastic Surgery have compassionately performed reconstructive breast surgery on a multitude of women, and personally supported them through each phase of their treatment. All WPS surgeons have excellent reputations for exceptional care in this regard, and Dr. Kays has even been recognized with a Silent Angel Award for work in this arena.
For women who do opt for breast reconstruction, implant surgery can restore the body image they had before the traumatic illness, and often dramatically improve self-confidence and quality of life. And while the procedure does produce relatively natural-looking results, patients should be aware that reconstructed breasts do not look or feel exactly the same as the breast that was removed. Read about one woman’s story
There are also procedures that utilize the patient’s own tissue to reconstruct the breast. Called autologous reconstruction, these procedures may be offered as alternatives for women who do not want breast implants. For a personal account, see this article from charlotteobserver.com.
In 2011, an initiative known as Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day was begun in Canada to promote education, awareness and access regarding post-mastectomy breast reconstruction. BRA Day is now a collaborative effort between the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, The Plastic Surgery Foundation, many plastic surgery practices, and other health professionals in the specialty. The event grew to include more than 20 countries in a single year.
The logo for BRA Day USA combines the familiarity of the pink ribbon representing breast cancer awareness with an extra loop that symbolizes Closing the Loop on Breast Cancer through reconstruction. For many women, breast reconstruction completes the recovery process, allowing them to feel whole again.
The double loop also resembles an infinity symbol, a reference to maintaining an open-minded and broad approach to treatment and reconstruction.
A flash mob in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, raises awareness about breast reconstruction.
In 1998, federal legislation was passed mandating insurance coverage for reconstruction of the breast. The law also requires the insurer to provide coverage of surgery for the other breast in order to achieve symmetry.
Surprisingly, 70% of women eligible for breast reconstruction are not being informed of their options. Please help us spread the word that cost should not be a consideration for women making this decision.