Arlington Heights, Ill. — Most women want to see what breast reconstruction surgery results look like on other patients before they undergo treatment for breast cancer themselves, according to new survey results.
The survey, commissioned by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, showed that 89 percent of respondents want to actually see what reconstruction results look like and to discuss the procedure with breast cancer survivors who have had the reconstructive surgery, the ASPS reports.
“We are going to provide information in a way that’s never been done before on this level,” ASPS President Malcolm Z. Roth, M.D., said in a statement. “A group of breast reconstruction patients will show a group of breast cancer patients what their reconstruction choices look like.”
Survey participants, who were not breast cancer patients, demonstrated little knowledge about breast reconstruction options, outcomes and factors that can affect results of reconstructive surgery, according to the ASPS.
Key findings of the survey of 1,204 women ages 18 and older, conducted by Harris Interactive, include:
- 23 percent of respondents knew about the range of breast reconstruction options;
- 22 percent were familiar with the expected outcomes of reconstruction;
- 19 percent knew that timing of breast cancer therapy and reconstructive surgery affects options and results.
The findings contrast with those of a study in Cancer in 2008, which showed that about 34 percent of breast cancer patients discussed breast reconstruction with their surgeon prior to treatment, MedPage Today reports.
“It is our job as doctors to fully inform our patients about breast reconstruction options,” Dr. Roth said. “Women are telling us that they want to actually see what reconstruction results would look like beforehand, and, as their physicians, we need to do everything we can to honor their request.”
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