According to a study published yesterday, February 18th in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, there has been a nearly 20 percent increase in the number of reconstructive breast surgery procedures between 1998 and 2007 among women who’d had a breast removed due to breast cancer (mastectomy).

The study also found an upward trend in women opting to undergo double mastectomies, a procedure that high-risk women sometimes choose as a preventive measure against breast cancer. These procedures jumped from 3 percent to 18 percent within the same period. Three-quarters of women who received double mastectomies also underwent breast reconstruction.

While doctors speculate that advancements in reconstructive surgical techniques, better access to information and certified plastic surgeons are responsible for the encouraging trend, the study also found that these figures vary greatly between states. This creates a concern in the medical community about all women not having equal access to surgeons who perform reconstructive breast surgery.

“A study like this highlights one major thing — that options for women undergoing mastectomy are numerous,” said Dr. Oren Lerman, director of breast reconstruction at the Institute for Comprehensive Breast Care at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. “Some of these reconstructive methods are really advanced to the point that it will make a woman look and feel normal, not just when she’s wearing clothing but even when she’s not. That really reassures women who are facing mastectomy.”

Overall, this is positive news that proves women are becoming more educated about the procedures and more proactive about treatment. However, it sheds more light on the disparities between access to information and reconstructive surgeons from state to state.

If you’re interested in learning more about breast reconstruction after cancer, contact Palm Beach Plastic Surgery today at (561) 430-2229. Dr. Barr is a reconstructive surgeon in West Palm Beach with a long, proven track record of performing successful reconstructive breast surgery in West Palm Beach. Click here to see breast reconstruction surgery before and after pictures.