Important facts about breast reconstruction
Many women who are facing a mastectomy may not be aware that breast reconstruction is considered part of the overall treatment plan. More awareness of breast reconstruction is needed, and that’s why October 17, 2012 has been designated Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day. BRA Day first took place in 2011.
“Breast reconstruction is not a luxury. It’s a part of treatment and an option that is readily available and can offer high quality results,” explains Dr. Tim Sproule, TSH Plastic Surgeon.
Dr. Sproule shares the following:
- More than 10 per cent of women develop breast cancer in North America and other developed countries.
- Treatment usually involves some type of ablation of the breast, which can be painful, unsightly and psychologically distressing for many women.
- Sadly, the majority of women do not opt to have breast reconstruction despite effective treatment being readily available.
- Plastic and reconstructive surgeons have a large number of options to help with reconstruction of the breast post-mastectomy, which can go a long way to restoring unacceptable appearance, confidence and self-esteem for women who have needed to undergo breast cancer treatment.
- Options include implants of various kinds, sometimes including tissue expansion or utilizing a patient’s own tissues (autogenous reconstruction). The most popular of these involves using the lower abdominal tissue and transferring this to the breast defect. This gives the happy result of also providing a woman with a ‘free’ tummy tuck!
- The latest advance is to utilize microsurgery techniques to spare more of the abdominal muscle and increase the reliability of the transferred tissues.
“The Scarborough Hospital has a large and sophisticated breast reconstruction program that can provide every type of reconstruction that is presently available anywhere in the world, with the highest level of quality and safety,” Dr. Sproule adds. “A large volume of breast reconstruction procedures is performed at TSH. In fact, TSH has the third most active microvascular breast reconstruction unit in Ontario.”
Join us on Wednesday, October 17 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at The Scarborough Hospital, General campus Auditorium where the breast reconstruction group will host a speaker series that will include intimate and personal discussions on all aspects of breast reconstruction, including implant choices, pedicled and microvascular flaps, and ancillary procedures such as nipple reconstruction and tattooing. The event will feature talks in English, Cantonese and Tamil. For more information on this TSH event, visit TSH’s BRA Day website.