Breast Implants After Mastectomy

Not all women that undergo a mastectomy, double or otherwise, choose to receive breasts implants. In fact,most women forgo breast reconstruction after breast cancer, a study led by JAMA (Journal of American Medical Association, for our non-physicians). The study has shown that women that have double mastectomies in particular choose not to have breast reconstructive surgery at all, with only 42% opting for reconstruction and breast implants. These facts would seem to contradict what one might suspect, given the traditional correlation that is made between a woman’s femininity and sexuality and her breasts. However, many surgeons find the numbers encouraging.

How can this be?

Past studies showed the number of women that chose breast implants post-mastectomy was only between 25 and 35 percent. Doctors surmise these changed statistics in receptiveness indicates lack of knowledge and unfounded fears are being assuaged with information not previously so readily available. The fears many women have expressed in these studies include:

  • Fear the implants will prevent future detectability of possible cancers that might develop.
  • Fears insurance won’t cover the implant procedure (despite Federal law requiring group insurance agencies to *cover mastectomies and reconstructive surgery) *pay back rates are often so slow, not all surgeons accept the rates.

The study also showed that African-American women and women that are less educated were those least likely to even seek implants and reconstructive surgery. Eighteen percent said they didn’t know reconstructive surgery and breast implants was even an option.

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