Most Don't Rebuild Breast After Cancer
Rates of Reconstructive Surgery Vary Greatly Among Ethnic Groups and Regions
Patient Preference, Doctor Bias continued...
"But it may also be that these women aren't being offered the surgery because of physician bias."
She says many general surgeons may still believe that reconstructive surgery makes it harder to identify cancer recurrences, even though studies have shown that this is not the case.
There may also be more reconstructive surgeons in some regions of the country than in others, she says, which might help explain regional differences.
Albany, Ga., plastic surgeon Walter Erhardt, MD, tells WebMD that advances in reconstructive surgery should make it a more attractive option for breast cancer patients in the future.
More and more general surgeons are performing skin-sparing mastectomies, for example, that make it much easier to reconstruct the breast.
"This is one of the biggest changes that I have seen," he says. "As more general surgeons begin doing this we may see the reconstruction rates go up."