Breast Reconstruction Resource
This is a companion piece to yesterday's entry (yes, I have to spread them out so that I have something to contribute daily). Making a decision about breast reconstruction is terribly difficult. Most women are faced with this choice during one of the worst times of their lives--shortly after learning of a breast cancer diagnosis. Since many surgeons suggest that reconstruction is best done at the same time as mastectomy, this means a rather fast decision is needed. Of note, there have been studies that suggest that women who delay reconstruction (which can happen for medical or personal or logistical reasons) feel better about their reconstructed breasts than women who do both surgeries at the same time and at the beginning of the process. Clearly, there are many exceptions, but my understanding of this finding is that some women feel that even an imperfect reconstruction is better than the flat chest they had for a while.
My advice to women in the midst of this problem is to consult, if at all possible, with more than one plastic surgeon and then to speak with women who have made the choice they are considering. The reason for the multiple doctors is that most plastic surgeons have one or two techniques that they do most often and like best; their recommendation is likely to be one of these. Another plastic surgeon may have different preferences, and it is always good to have more information and more options. The rationale behind talking with other women is obvious: you always hear something different from the patient than from the doctor.
This is all an introduction to an excellent website, the Breast Reconstruction Community. There are answers here to virtually any questions you may have: www.breastreconstruction.org