Dr. Keith Blechman, an NYC board-certified plastic surgeon and director of The Breast Reconstruction Center of NYC announced today a definitive rise in breast reconstruction cases related to prophylactic mastectomy.
New York, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/02/2015 -- Dr. Keith Blechman, an NYC board-certified plastic surgeon and director of The Breast Reconstruction Center of NYC (http://www.breastreconstructioncenternyc.com) announced today a definitive rise in breast reconstruction cases related to prophylactic mastectomy. A prophylactic mastectomy is surgery to remove one or both breasts to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. Dr. Blechman works with patients' cancer doctors to perform breast cancer reconstruction surgery (during or after the mastectomy).
Dr. Blechman stated, "Prophylactic mastectomy is a very personal decision. Some patients that are already having a mastectomy to treat breast cancer in one breast have the other breast removed prophylactically at the same time. Others will have had both breasts removed prior to ever receiving a cancer diagnosis. In either situation, these patients usually undergo breast reconstruction on both breasts. Following prophylactic mastectomy, some of my patients undergo implant-based breast reconstruction, while others choose to use tissues from their own bodies. Implant-based breast reconstruction uses the same type of breast implants as in breast augmentation cases, whereas breast reconstruction using a patient's own natural tissues involves transplanting skin and fat from another part of their body, typically from the abdomen – an operation referred to as a "free flap". I am seeing more patients for post-mastectomy breast reconstruction, which may reflect increasing awareness about these procedures, likely stemming from recent legislation and publicity campaigns."
According to the 2014 statistics recently released by the American Society of Plastic Surgery, the number of breast reconstruction procedures performed nationwide rose 7% from the year before, and are up 30% since 2000.
Prophylactic mastectomy is often recommended to patients with a known genetic predisposition to developing breast cancer, such as the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. "Genetic testing has now become more widely available, and after making public her experience with prophylactic mastectomy, Angelina Jolie has helped bring even more awareness to the public regarding the difficult decision-making that high-risk patients must deal with. Patients come to The Breast Reconstruction Center of NYC seeking breast reconstruction directly related to their decision to undergo a mastectomy for prophylactic reasons", stated Dr. Blechman.
According to the National Cancer Institute, "A woman's risk of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer is greatly increased if she inherits a deleterious (harmful) mutation in the BRCA1 gene or the BRCA2 gene. Genetic tests can check for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations in people with a family history of cancer that suggests the possible presence of a harmful mutation in one of these genes."
The Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 is a federal law that requires any insurance company covering mastectomies to also cover all stages of breast reconstruction, including surgery of the unaffected breast in order to produce a symmetrical appearance, as well as coverage for prostheses and treatment of physical complications. In addition, several states have enacted laws to require that women at the time of their breast cancer treatment receive information regarding reconstruction options. The Breast Reconstruction Center of NYC will work with all insurance carriers to get breast reconstruction procedures covered.
Breast Reconstruction Center of NYC
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