Breast reconstruction is a procedure that may help you both physically and psychologically in the aftermath of treatment for breast cancer. When faced with breast cancer or a high risk of breast cancer, many women are daunted by the amount of decisions that they face. The truth is that there are many ways of treating cancer or pre-cancer now and there may not be one right or best answer for anyone.
Treatments are tailored to the individual and may include a partial or total mastectomy (removing the breast). Breast reconstruction procedures tailored to your needs can help your breasts appear natural and symmetrical.
There is no better way to move past the effects of surgery and move on with life than to be able to get dressed, exercise or even swim without worrying about your appearance.
Is Breast Cancer Reconstruction Right For You?
Although breast reconstruction can help rebuild self-esteem and restore confidence after mastectomy, breast reconstruction surgery is always a choice.
In fact, some women here in New Jersey decide not to reconstruct their breasts after a unilateral or bilateral mastectomy, choosing instead to wear an external breast prosthesis (or not to wear it). However you feel about your post-surgery options, it is always advisable to discuss the procedures with a highly qualified breast reconstructive surgeon before choosing.
Many women are surprised by the options they have once they have discussed all the issues with their surgeon. Whether you had a mastectomy ten years ago or will need one in the future, take your time when choosing the procedure and when choosing your surgeon.
Although the treatment of breast cancer must be carried out in a timely manner, there is never a reason to rush into a procedure without fully researching the options.
Expert Insight into Breast Reconstruction after Mastectomy
Helping NJ women regain their health after the physical and emotional trial of breast cancer is why I became a plastic and reconstructive surgeon. Here on our Cohen/Winters blog, I hope to share some crucial details about breast reconstruction that will help you move forward with reconstructive surgery – or to feel comfortable declining reconstruction.
A full consultation with an experienced breast reconstructive surgeon is paramount. This should include a full history and physical examination.
Following the evaluation, it is my goal to educate patients about all the options tailored to their specific needs so they can decide for themselves. Decisions about reconstruction are unlike many medical choices in that there are no absolute right or wrong options. In the end, it is all about what is right for you.
Dr. Winters and I are dedicated to your healing after breast cancer whether it involves reconstructive surgery or not, and we find working toward that healing with individual women incredibly rewarding. We are here to help you sort through the many options for breast reconstruction.
We will use our years of expertise to guide you and find the best path for you. When you are ready for personalized information about your options for breast cancer reconstruction, I invite you to set up a consultation by calling our Bergen County office.
It’s Not A Boob Job: Finding the Top Breast Reconstruction Surgeons In New Jersey
In the field of breast reconstruction, research has shown that your plastic surgeon’s years of experience and patient volume are key to achieving optimal reconstruction outcomes with few complications.
True breast reconstruction specialists are those surgeons with more than a decade of experience—not just in breast implants, breast augmentation, breast enhancement, breast enlargement or similar terms. In other words, don’t just look for any breast surgeon: the qualification you must seek is, specifically, breast reconstructive experience.
As you might imagine, there is a world of difference between reconstruction and all other breast surgeries. Reconstructive surgeons have the deepest and most detailed understanding of the anatomical and functional properties of the breast.
A well-developed aesthetic sense is also required to position/shape the breasts so that they are matched in size and look completely natural.
Be sure to keep these basic qualifications in the forefront of your thoughts when choosing a breast reconstruction surgeon, Don’t settle for less than all of these:
- Board certification in general surgery and plastic surgery.
- Reconstructive experience.
- 10 years plus performing reconstructive breast surgeries.
- Surgical privileges at a well-respected hospital; for instance, a university medical center.
- Photos/examples of prior work (can help you feel confident in your surgeon’s sense of aesthetics).
- All options discussed for your education, (be concerned if you are only given one option).
- The trust factor (see below) is one more very important qualification to seek in your breast cancer reconstruction surgeon.
The Right Breast Reconstructive Surgeon: Choosing a Partner in Your Journey
Once you find the surgeon who has all of the above qualifications, go just a bit further when considering breast reconstruction post-mastectomy.
Choose a northern NJ surgeon who will be a true partner to you, helping to see you through the entire journey to achieve full reconstruction. Two or more staged surgeries may be needed in order to complete your breast reconstruction.
The breast reconstruction process may take place over the course of a year. So taking time up front to choose the best surgeon for you – and someone you trust – is paramount.
Talk to a Breast Cancer Reconstruction Specialist – Learn About Your Options
At Cohen/Winters, we help each patient understand their best reconstructive options depending on individual case details and your goals. We are here to educate you, outline your options, provide expert advice and strong support throughout this stressful time.
As board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeons in NJ, we’ve been privileged to take part in assisting women to rebuild their lives successfully and completely after breast cancer.
If we can help you, as an information resource and/or through restoring your breasts surgically, please contact our Bergen County practice.