With the current status of healthcare, especially its economical status, we are seeing some unforeseen casualties. One of them may be immediate breast reconstruction after mastectomy. Some plastic surgeons in Birmingham cite financial reasons for not referring women to have immediate breast reconstruction. “This is doing an immense disservice to these women who have been recently diagnosed with breast cancer,” stated Alabama breast reconstruction specialist, Michael S. Beckenstein, M.D. “It is more than well known that immediate breast reconstruction has the best benefits for these women. The results are better, it saves a surgery with it’s risk, recovery, and time from work and family. It makes no sense whatsoever to do this. We need to keep things as they are for these women!”
What women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and are considering a mastectomy need to do, is ask their Alabama breast surgeons if they refer for immediate breast reconstruction. If they do not, and there is no good reason, the women may consider getting another opinion. Medical specialists who refer their patients with breast masses to breast surgeons need to reaffirm that these surgeons will continue with immediate reconstruction. Dr. Beckenstein, who founded the Alabama Breast Cancer Cooperative, adds, “We must be proactive in this situation to make sure these women continue to get the optimal care with the quality they deserve. Every surgeon is making less these days and it is no reason to deny patients what they truly need!”
Legislation concerning mandatory education about breast reconstruction is in the U.S. House of Representatives after a successful vote in the U.S. Senate. This is the culmination of 20 years of hard work by reconstruction advocates to make sure women know about this option. As we get closer to this, we do not need another situation to deny women of immediate reconstruction. If you’re interested, contact your local government representatives and encourage them to vote in favor of breast reconstruction legislation.