Oct. 21 is National Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day, and a clinic in Green Bay, Wis., invited local businesses to decorate and display bras to help raise awareness. "While breast reconstruction is considered elective surgery, undergoing breast reconstruction can have profound emotional and practical benefits. It can help enhance confidence and self-image after mastectomy," plastic surgeon Elizabeth O'Connor said. Insurers are required to cover post-mastectomy reconstruction.
Plastic surgeon Susan MacLennan works with a team of doctors to help ensure breast cancer patients know all their options for treatment and reconstruction. MacLennan said discussions with plastic surgeons are recommended so that even women who do not want reconstruction are educated. "Our primary goal is to restore function, meaning allowing the woman to wear what they want to wear and not have to worry about the absence of the breast," MacLennan said.
Patients whose nasal septal perforations were repaired using polyethylene implants had significant improvement in crusting, nasal discharge and nosebleeds at the one-year follow-up, researchers report in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery. The procedure requires no use of other tissue and has a lower morbidity rate than procedures that do, researchers said. Only one of the 14 patients undergoing the procedure did not have successful closure and bilateral mucosal coverage, and that patient had not complied with postoperative care instructions.
A breast cancer survivor initially given a choice between lumpectomy with radiation or single mastectomy is lobbying the state Legislature to implement a law similar to one in New York, which requires doctors to inform patients of reconstruction options before surgery. "It's very, very sad that only 30% of women are even informed of what their reconstructive options might be," said Tammy Carrington, who chose to undergo double mastectomy immediately followed by breast reconstruction.