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Breast reconstruction following surgery important

Breast reconstruction following surgery important for quality of life

Women with breast cancer should be offered the opportunity of having their breast reconstructed at the time of breast removal because it does improves their quality of life.

“In the past reconstruction was rarely offered to women as it was felt it might compromise their treatment or cause surgical complications. Many studies have been done by plastic surgeons over the last 20 years to refute this.”

In this new study, plastic surgeon Mr Janek Januszkiewicz will present the results of his research at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Annual Scientific meeting in Auckland today.

Mr Januszkiewicz looked at the last seven years of his breast reconstruction experience in Auckland and examined the records of over 250 women who had immediate breast reconstruction. He specifically looked at the outcomes of those women with advanced breast cancer to see if reconstruction was the right choice for them.

“Previously women with advanced breast cancer were told that they should not have breast reconstruction until at least five years after their breast removal. Thankfully times have changed and breast surgeons are more willing to consider this option.

“This study showed that the results of immediate reconstruction in women with advanced breast cancer were as good as the results for women with earlier stages of breast cancer.

“We have found that a woman’s quality of life is improved by immediate reconstruction without interfering with her cancer treatment and without increasing the risk of complications or side effects.

“Generally women are extremely grateful that something positive can be done in a time of such great distress. It does involve extra surgery and longer recovery times but for those women who want reconstruction it can have a tremendous impact on the way they feel about themselves.

Our results compare favourably with similar studies done in the US, but this study tells us what is happening here.

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