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Rally for Breast Reconstruction Awareness

Posted October 08, 2014 in Breast Reconstruction

October 15 is National “BRA” Day!

As many people are aware of, October has been hailed as “National Breast Cancer Awareness Month” NBCAM; ever since 1985. This is one of the most globally recognized awareness programs to promote the prevention of breast cancer. As part of this worldwide campaign, many spin-off campaigns have been derived to either help women fight for survival or to encourage them after remission.

Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day, or “BRA” Day, is a program that was developed by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the Plastic Surgery Foundation to promote education, access and awareness for women who have lost one or both breasts because of breast cancer. This is called post-mastectomy breast reconstruction, which is designed to empower breast cancer survivors to regain their self-esteem and appearance after remission.

Their slogan, “Closing the Loop on Breast Cancer” focuses on the widely-recognized emblem that is a trademark of the pink ribbon used for the breast cancer awareness program. By closing the loop, this is a symbol of a victorious recovery that includes the reconstructive procedure after a mastectomy. Plastic surgeons, breast cancer support groups, breast centers, breast cancer patients and their friends and family are able to participate in the events of BRA Day USA.

How long after a mastectomy can a patient receive breast reconstruction?

One of the most common questions asked by breast cancer patients is when they will be able to start the process of reconstruction? Although this decision must be discussed with your plastic surgeon, most board-certified plastic surgeons will begin the process in conjunction with the mastectomy. By doing this, the chest muscles and tissues are less susceptible to damage caused by radiation. There are fewer scars visible after healing because there is only one surgery to contend with, in most cases.

However, after one surgery, the patient may still be required to take a number of measures to complete the breast reconstruction procedure.

For some women, delayed breast construction may be the only solution, especially for those whose radiation treatments are still ongoing after the mastectomy. The chances for longer healing or visible scarring are higher in delayed breast reconstruction, but this can only be evaluated and determined by the doctor. Through a series of questions, the plastic surgeon will find out the stage of your breast cancer, size of your breast(s), how good your health is, and how much tissue is available to complete the reconstructive procedure. Thinner women may not have enough cellulite or body tissue for the grafts.

The doctor will also need to know whether you want one breast or two, and which type of procedure you might want. For example, there are size options and either silicone or saline breast implants, so you will need to learn the differences. Dr. Humberto Palladino is a highly skilled breast reconstruction surgeon and can show you exactly what your breast will look like after the implant is installed. He does this through the use of a precise, 3D Vectra Imaging System. It shows patients an accurate “before” and “after” post-mastectomy breast implant, which can greatly assist in the decision process.

How You Can Get Involved

In South Florida, you can get involved in “BRA” Day in a number of ways. Companies are encouraged to host a “BRA” Day at their place of business to raise awareness and/or funds to assist breast cancer survivors in their recovery. Contact us to learn more about getting a breast reconstruction after mastectomy.

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