10 Jul Does It Matter Where You Have Your Breast Reconstruction Done?
For women across the United States, feeling confident in who they are is as important as ever. For many, the idea of having a breast reconstruction with implants is a chance to feel better – especially after having gone through something like breast cancer and mastectomy. There are a number of benefits of breast reconstruction including:
- Giving a breast contour that previously wasn’t there
- Enhancing your self-esteem and confidence – allowing you to reach your full potential
- Helping you to forget the consequences of past illness
- Avoid the need for an external prosthesis
What happens in a breast reconstruction with an implant?
This surgery typically refers to reconstruction of the breast using a man-made implanted device – and not using your own body tissue (known as an autologous repair). The surgery usually involves the implantation of a silicone gel or salt water filled silicone balloon to recreate a natural breast shape following the removal of a breast. Typically this operation results in a very small scar that is not noticeable. In some people, a capsule will form around the silicone – as the body identifies that it is not part of itself. In some people, this can distort the shape and revision surgery is needed.
Does it matter where you have your breast reconstruction surgery?
As an outsider, it is difficult to know whether it matters where you get the surgery done. For many things in medicine – there is almost no difference in treatment but there can be significant differences in cost. Your family member who has diabetes will probably receive the same care wherever he goes. That bone you broke falling off your bike as a child is probably dealt with exactly the same no matter which hospital you go to. So does it matter where you have your breast reconstruction surgery?
A recent article published in the Annal of Surgery might just answer this question. The authors looked at the variations between hospitals in complications and patient-reported outcomes of breast reconstruction surgery over a 2 year period. The authors note there were major differences in the complication rates and that
“There were also meaningful differences in satisfaction with outcome… and in satisfaction with breast compared with the average values”
This is quite shocking when you think about it. The fact that there is so much variation in satisfaction between centers means that some women are leaving satisfied whilst others are living with complications. That is why it is essential to get seen by a specialist breast reconstruction clinic to ensure that you get the best treatment as soon as is possible. For many, breast reconstruction is life changing, especially after going through something as long, as arduous and as hard as breast cancer. So why not make it count? Don’t settle for second best, get a specialist clinic to give you a second opinion today.