Steady and recently rapid advances in breast augmentation techniques – and the widespread acceptance of them – has brought with it more options, more reassurance, and more hope for women who face breast cancer surgery. The issues that one must consider seriously with such a diagnosis now rarely include the question of whether a woman’s breasts can be restored satisfactorily.
That question is very often not “whether,” but rather “how.”
The Blessings of Sisterhood
Just as beneficial to the woman who is dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis is the fact that discussion of it is widespread today. It is easy to forget that just a decade or two ago many women felt isolated as they answered questions from their doctor about the choices they faced for breast cancer treatment.
Today’s wide-open discourse about breast cancer means that a person can start with the recognition that women all around them have faced and overcome the same thing. Often they report that they had no idea how many of their friends and acquaintances had dealt with breast cancer until they themselves were diagnosed.
The Options Have Expanded
The options for a woman after breast cancer surgery today have expanded just as far as this sister-to-sister dialogue. In fact, they include a growing niche of women who elect to have no breast reconstruction at all. It is the strength of identity that these trailblazing women represent that may be their greatest contribution to the dialogue.
Most women still elect to restore the profile and contour of their upper body after breast cancer surgery, whether all or just part of the breast is removed, and that is likely to remain the norm. The options from which they can choose have never been more abundant.
What to Consider Before Selecting
A dozen things to consider in selecting the approach a woman takes to reconstructive surgery are listed by the American Cancer Society. They include questions like the original size and the extent of surgery that was done as well as whether other treatments are to proceed after the surgery. Deciding when to begin reconstruction is just as important as selecting the extent and method that best meets a woman’s objective.
Perhaps one of the wisest observations that has been published recently about breast reconstruction is this: No matter how much discussion, observation, and anticipation might have been prompted by the open dialogue on breast cancer today, a woman cannot really predict how she will react when and if she receives a breast cancer diagnosis. It is very important to honor the feelings that arise and think carefully about what makes sense to each woman, from the ground of her own beliefs, values, desires, and objectives in life.
Breast reconstruction is part of planning the life a woman will enjoy after surgery. Those plans can be as unique and characteristic as the women who make them, and the experience and broad perspective of a board-certified plastic surgeon can be a vital ingredient in composing those plans. In fact, many women today have discussions like these in advance of any diagnosis, if family history or other risk factors make it a question to consider just for peace of mind.
We would be very glad to have such a talk with you at any stage in your considerations. Just call us at 912-920-2090 or click here to schedule a complimentary breast reconstruction consultation.