Whether women with breast cancer decide to pursue breast reconstruction surgery is a personal decision that should be made for the right reasons. In my practice, I encounter many women who elect for breast reconstruction for a number of reasons, with one of the primary reasons being psychological. Breast reconstruction following either a mastectomy or a lumpectomy can offer significant psychological and emotional benefits to cancer survivors, making the choice for breast reconstruction about much more than appearances.
1. Feelings of Normal and Symmetrical Breast Appearance
One of the primary benefits of breast reconstruction is that the patient can once again feel that her breast appearance is back to normal and symmetrical. After breast reconstruction, women can feel confident wearing fitted tops, bathing suits and other clothes without being self-conscious about the appearance of their breasts.
2. Visual Reassurance of Health and Wholeness after Cancer
Moving on from illness is a powerful period in anyone’s life, and in the case of breast cancer survivors, many women feel that it’s important for them to have visual confirmation of their own health and wholeness after cancer. My breast reconstruction patients don’t need to feel as if they sacrificed their bodies, their femininity or identities in the struggle against cancer.
3. Positive Feelings Over Conserving Natural Breast Tissue
In the case of a lumpectomy, my patients often feel positively about the fact that as much natural breast tissue as possible was conserved. A lumpectomy allows women to keep more of their breast tissue, assuring patients that their reconstructed breast is not artificial, but rather, a natural part of their body.