The diagnosis of breast cancer itself can be devastating. A battle lies ahead. The first goal is to remove the cancer. Unfortunately, that battle can leave scars literally and emotionally from a mastectomy. That’s when breast reconstruction can be a solution.
SIH Cancer Institute Affiliated Physicians
Dr. Kelli Webb, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon with SIH Medical Group, is part of the SIH Cancer Institute Affiliated Physicians who meet once a week to discuss each breast cancer patient. Together physicians and experts develop the best plan of care for the patient.
While some patients choose to wait for reconstruction at a later date, a fair amount of patients have immediate reconstruction during the same surgical session as their lumpectomy or mastectomy.
“It’s truly up to the patient,” said Webb. “It’s important to go slow. I like to actually meet them ahead of time, just to first to discuss what the options are.”
Often patients just want to get through that goal of removing the cancer. Once that particular stress is gone, they are ready to take time to reflect on how they feel about themselves and how they want others to see them.
Either way, according to Webb, each patient should hear the options and make the decisions when they are ready. “The answer for them may be no reconstruction at all, and that is fine.”
For the patient who chooses reconstruction however, Webb’s greatest delight is seeing her patients feel normal again and happy. “While everyone’s journey is unique, my hope is that all patients have the opportunity to consider breast reconstruction. For many, this can return a sense of wholeness and provide the final step to recovery for breast cancer survivors,” said Webb.
Some factors Webb considers for breast reconstructive surgery include smoking history, whether or not they will have radiation therapy and overall health.