Women ‘denied’ breast reconstruction surgery after mastectomy
Summary of a story from The Independent, March 22,2011
Women with breast cancer are not always given the option of reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy, despite clinical guidelines that it should be offered to all women, according to a review of hospitals in England.
The proportion of women offered immediate reconstruction varied across England from 7% in some areas to 41% in the south-east.
Around four in ten women diagnosed with breast cancer undergo a mastectomy. An audit of hospitals in England found one in five women who had the operation between January 2008 and March 2009 had an immediate reconstruction.
For many women this is thought to help with their emotional and physical recovery from the trauma.
Author of the review, consultant plastic and reconstructive surgeon Chris Caddy, said he wants to “drive up the quality of reconstructive surgery and tell patients this is what we do and this is what you need to ask for to get a better result”.
WVoN comment: It’s critical that reliable, impartial information on all options is available for women, but the decision remains a very personal one. Nobody should feel any pressure either way.