Many Women Lack Information on Breast Reconstruction After Mastectomy

Survey shows women may not be fully knowledgeable of reconstruction options, as well as financial, emotional impact
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breast reconstruction

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FRIDAY, Oct. 28, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Many women may not receive adequate information to evaluate how breast reconstruction surgery may impact them physically, financially, and emotionally, according to the results of a survey conducted by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

The online survey of 1,129 adult women was conducted from Sept. 27 to 29, 2022. According to the results, 50 percent of cancer patients who underwent a mastectomy elected to have breast reconstruction surgery. Yet, 54 percent of women report being unsure if there are surgical options beyond breast implants despite having other choices, including the option not to have it. Nearly three-quarters of women (73 percent) are unsure if they would be responsible for paying for the surgery, even though federal law requires insurance companies to cover the cost of reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy. Almost two-thirds (62 percent) of women are not aware that it may be possible to regain some sensation in the breast over time. Furthermore, almost three in 10 women (29 percent) do not know there is a period of emotional adjustment following breast reconstruction.

"At a time when a breast cancer patient is faced with a difficult change in their life, we want to engage, educate, and empower patients to make a choice that's best for them, which includes knowing their breast reconstruction options," Bernard Lee, M.D., president of the Plastic Surgery Foundation, said in a statement.

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