Women seeking post-breast cancer reconstructive surgery many not be made fully aware of options available to them, reports The New York Times.
Not all plastic surgeons are trained to perform the latest, or more complicated, surgeries, while others may be financially based -– some complex surgeries are less profitable for hospitals and so they have less of an incentive to offer them, doctors say.
While women “don’t choose their diagnosis, they choose reconstruction or not, and with the aid of a knowledgeable plastic surgeon they can choose what their options are,” said Linda G. Phillips, MD, a plastic surgeon in Galveston, Texas. “They then have more power over their lives when they have the power to choose.”
“It is apparent that many reconstruction patients are not given the full scope of their options,” says Diana Zuckerman, president of NRC for Women and Families, a nonprofit organization in Washington.
To help raise breast construction awareness, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) has adopted language that supports a woman’s freedom to choose reconstructive surgery as part of the society’s efforts to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month every October.
It isn’t unusual for surgeons to omit informing patients about surgical procedures that they do not perform, said Michael McGuire, MD, FACS, president-elect of the ASPS.