Timing is key when it comes to breast reconstruction. US News & World Report takes a look at this in a recent article titled “Breast Reconstruction: Deciding on Timing.”
Lisa Esposito of US News & World Report writes, “With all the stark information and high-stakes decisions thrown at women diagnosed with breast cancer, whether to have breast reconstruction may seem like one of the few choices that can wait. But for women interested in surgery to restore the shape of their breasts, immediate breast reconstruction – done right after mastectomy during the same operation – offers advantages. While women may prefer to delay reconstruction or decide they don’t need it at all, they deserve to know their options. See what a plastic surgeon and patient have to say about breast-reconstruction timing… When you’ve trying to make sense of the ‘avalanche of information’ and treatment decisions coming your way as a woman newly diagnosed with breast cancer, it’s tough to consider reconstructive surgery as well, says Dr. Minas Chrysopoulo, a plastic surgeon and microsurgeon at PRMA Center for Advanced Breast Reconstruction in San Antonio. ‘The reason [patients] should start thinking about it as soon as possible is because if they choose to have reconstruction, then ideally it should be done at the same time as the mastectomy,’ Chrysopoulo says. While that’s not always possible, and not every woman is a candidate for immediate reconstruction, he says it’s often a good choice, especially for early stage 1 or stage 2 breast cancers. Dana Donofree of Philadelphia recalls rapidly sorting out her treatment options after the 2010 breast cancer diagnosis she received on the eve of her 28th birthday. ‘I wasn’t sure at first if I was going to have the lumpectomy or a single mastectomy or a double mastectomy,’ she says. ‘All of those questions came at me very quickly.’ Bilateral mastectomy was considered the best option for Donofree, then a patient at Rose Medical Center in Denver. Once Donofree understood the choices, she says immediate breast reconstruction ‘was definitely something I wanted in my treatment.’ Immediately after mastectomy, she had an expander – a temporary, balloon-like device to stretch the skin and make a ‘pocket’ – placed in each breast. That was the first phase of a two-stage process to prepare her body for the rebuilding procedure with permanent implants, which she underwent about a year later. According to the National Cancer Institute, that time frame usually spans about six weeks to six months after mastectomy.”
When it comes to breast reconstruction, you need a surgeon you can trust. Rex E. Moulton Barrett, M.D. is internationally known and acknowledged. He is board certified with The American Board of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and The American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.