The 8th annual BRA Day, or breast reconstruction awareness day, is being held on October 16. It’s a day meant to support women who have gone through breast reconstruction, and also raise awareness.
“I think the biggest problem is most people don’t know what the options are, the timing of when to have it done, if it’s best to do it at the time of a mastectomy, or after a mastectomy has been done,” noted Dr. Brian Showalter with The Center for Plastic Surgery at Sentara Martha Jefferson. “They don’t understand how things like chemotherapy and radiation factor in to it, and then just the different options of implant reconstruction vs. using your own tissue.”
Data shows that the education is needed.
“When asked, 89% of women say they’d like to see what their options are for reconstruction prior to starting treatment for their breast cancer,” noted Dr. Victoria Vastine with The Center for Plastic Surgery at Sentara Martha Jefferson. “However, less than a quarter of these women are informed of what their options are before surgery.”
The team at The Center for Plastic Surgery says they start every new patient interaction with a consultation.
“Our goal, with the reconstruction consultation, is to really decide what the best option for you is that fits with your life and reconstructive needs,” said Showalter.
And, doctors say it’s also important to note that breast reconstruction is covered by insurance.
“I think it’s important for women to know that breast reconstruction is covered by their insurance companies. This was federally mandated many, many years ago,” said Vastine.
The practice is holding a celebration on October 16 to honor those who have gone through, or are currently going through, reconstruction. They hope that people will stop by to help celebrate the day together.