Post written by Dr. Robert J. Howard, D.O., F.A.C.S.
Spring Ridge Surgical Specialists
A new diagnosis of breast cancer is a life changing event. There are a million thoughts and questions that run through a person’s mind. What is my prognosis? What are the treatment options? How is this going to impact my ability to work or care for my family? One of the questions that many women are afraid to ask is “What am I going to look like after the surgery?” Some people feel this is an insignificant thing to ask when we are dealing with a serious health issue, but it is an important question and an important part of the physical and emotional healing process.
When I meet with my patients for the first time after their diagnosis is made I often tell them that I have two priorities in their treatment. The first priority is to CURE the cancer! The second priority is to make everything LOOK GOOD in the process. These days the majority of breast cancer can be surgically treated with a “lumpectomy” which involves making an incision usually less than 2 inches in length. In most cases, these incisions heal beautifully with minimal change, if any, to the contour of the breast and alleviate the need for any further plastic surgery. For women who require mastectomy, the option of reconstruction is always discussed. In those cases, our practice makes arrangements with a plastic surgeon and coordinates all aspects of care to offer the full range of reconstruction options including “skin” and even “nipple sparing” techniques.
Cosmetic outcome is an important part of the physical and emotional recovery from breast cancer. In my practice, it is always an integral part of the discussion and decision making process on treatment in helping patients get back to their best health and wellness.
If you have additional questions about breast cancer surgery and treatment options, make an appointment online to see Dr. Howard by CLICKING HERE.
Other related post written by Dr. Howard, “The Latest on Breast Cancer Awareness”