Research shows more breast cancer patients are choosing mastectomy over lumpectomy. Plastic surgeons near Appleton, WI at Fox Valley Plastic Surgery say women should learn about all the reconstruction options available, including direct-to-implant.
Oshkosh, Wisconsin (June 2013) — The number of younger women choosing mastectomy after a breast cancer diagnosis is increasing according to a recent study, a trend that Dr. David Janssen of Fox Valley Plastic Surgery (www.fvpsurgery.com) says underscores the importance of informing patients of all reconstruction options, including direct-to-implant.
Advances in breast reconstruction techniques during the past decade enable plastic surgeons to provide women better aesthetic results, says Dr. Janssen. Located near Appleton, WI, Fox Valley Plastic Surgery, draws breast reconstruction patients from as far as Milwaukee due to the innovative options the practice offers.
“The options available are dramatically better than those of a generation earlier,” says Dr. Janssen. “Whether a woman chooses direct-to-implant reconstruction, a staged procedure, or reconstruction using her own muscle and tissue, the results are vastly superior to what was available even 10 years ago.” He adds that federal law requires insurance companies to cover the costs of reconstruction, including the cost of reconstruction of both breasts to account for symmetry, if necessary.
Dr. Janssen says the direct-to-implant procedure is an example of the progress made in reconstructive surgery. The one-stage procedure allows women to avoid additional surgery by having an implant inserted at the time the general surgeon performs the mastectomy. When plastic surgeons at Fox Valley perform direct-to-implant reconstructive surgery, they use a tissue matrix, such as Alloderm®, which forms the bottom of the pocket where the implant is placed. It acts like a hammock, holding the implant in place while still retaining some elasticity to produce a breast that looks and feels more natural.
“Direct-to-implant is an ideal option for a woman who wants reconstruction and has enough skin after surgery to accommodate an implant.” He emphasizes that collaboration between the general surgeon and the plastic surgeon is essential in all immediate reconstruction procedures.
Unfortunately, says Dr. Janssen, many women still are not provided enough information about breast reconstruction options. Extensive media coverage of actress Angelina Jolie’s announcement that she underwent a preventive double mastectomy and breast reconstruction is beginning to change that. “This is a good example of where a woman in a smaller community such as Appleton can actually benefit from plastic surgery news from Hollywood,” Dr. Janssen says. “As ethical plastic surgeons, we want our patients to be educated. Our objective is to give them enough information so they can make their own determination about what type of procedure will work best for them.”
If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, or you’re considering a preventive mastectomy, request a consultation at Fox Valley Plastic Surgery, or call our office at (920) 233-1540 to schedule an appointment to discuss your reconstruction options.