Why don't more women choose breast reconstruction following a mastectomy? Dr. Richard Chaffoo, a San Diego-area plastic surgeon, shared his views on the subject in a recent Forbes article.
La Jolla, California (December 2011) – Dr. Richard Chaffoo was interviewed in Forbes magazine, explaining one reason why a relatively low percentage of breast cancer patients have reconstructive surgery following a mastectomy. Dr. Chaffoo is a board-certified plastic surgeon who performs breast enhancement procedures for women through his La Jolla plastic surgery practice.
"Although an overwhelmingly large number of women bravely battle breast cancer every year, only a small portion decides to undergo breast reconstruction," Dr. Chaffoo says. "The article in Forbes highlights some important reasons why the number of women opting for breast reconstruction is low and how this procedure can help women overcome stigmas surrounding cosmetic surgery procedures."
The article explains that women commonly group reconstructive and cosmetic procedures together, leading to the idea that breast reconstruction is unnecessary. When patients view breast reconstruction and augmentation in the same light, confusion often occurs concerning the necessity for reconstructive procedures. The article points out a common hesitation among breast cancer patients to have reconstruction because they feel undergoing the surgery is selfish.
"When performing procedures at my La Jolla Skin practice, I work to ensure that every patient chooses treatment based on her own personal needs and feels deserving of the procedure," Dr. Chaffoo says.
"Breast reconstruction is extremely effective in helping women regain their confidence. The article in Forbes provides some interesting reasoning behind why more women don't undergo reconstruction, including the question of deserving surgery. All patients should feel deserving of restoring their bodies."
Dr. Chaffoo, who performs procedures in San Diego such as facelift and neck lift surgery, points out in the Forbes article that breast reconstruction is a complex process and includes a higher risk of complications than cosmetic breast enhancement. He describes how patients often must go through multiple procedures to fully restore breast appearance.
"Reconstruction is more complicated than cosmetic breast augmentation, but this alone does not justify the low percentage of women choosing to have this procedure," Dr. Chaffoo says. "I hope women speak with experienced surgeons prior to breast cancer treatment about their options for reconstruction and come to understand how surgical procedures can positively influence self-confidence."
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