The idea of a brochure on breast reconstruction was born from the need and desire to disclose the correct information.
Doctor Silvia Germano, specialist in plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgery at the SC of plastic surgery, hand surgery and microsurgery of the Maria Vittoria Hospital of the ASL City of Turin, explains how information is a fundamental aspect of cancer treatment and helps to face the path in a conscious and not passive way.
The brochure is a summary of questionnaires sent to patients who had completed the breast reconstruction process. The result showed that patients were often unaware of all types of reconstruction, and therefore did not have the necessary information to make an informed choice.
Even today, often, the decision is made in a passive way because patients do not have all the necessary elements to make an informed choice.
There are patients who decide not to undergo breast reconstruction and if the choice is made with awareness must be respected. Each of us lives in an intimate and personal way in our own image, so a doctor must never force this decision if the patient’s desire is not to rebuild.
It is also necessary to add that the result of a breast reconstruction is not similar to an additive mammoplasty. Because the breast is removed and therefore we must rebuild something that is no longer there and not improve something that already exists.
Written together with other colleagues, this informative brochure on breast reconstruction might be presented on Breast Reconstruction World Awareness Day on Breast in October, the month dedicated to the prevention of breast cancer in order to provide clear and complete information.
Despite breast cancer affecting a large part of the population, only a few women know the techniques available to reconstruct the breast after a cancer surgery. There is still little knowledge about the quality of the results that can be obtained after breast reconstruction.
The brochure aims to be a completion of the visit with the surgeon, to provide a basic knowledge of the techniques available to date. Obviously the brochure does not replace the knowledge and experience of doctors, but it helps women to prepare for the visit. In addition, taking awareness of breast reconstruction techniques allows patients to accept the consequences and complications that may occur along the way. It is essential to tell patients that breast reconstruction is a process that does not end with the first surgery, but will require more surgeries, even small ones.