Nat’l Breast Cancer Awareness Month: October 15th Marks BRA Day

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and October 15th, 2014 marks BRA Day, or Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day, celebrating raising awareness and education on post-mastectomy breast reconstruction surgery  options. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), 95,589 breast reconstruction procedures were performed in 2013. With over 20 years of experience as a double-board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, I have witnessed firsthand the toll that breast cancer has on a woman.  I believe it is important to actively educate my patients about reconstruction options to help them on their journey to healing both physically and emotionally.

breast reconstruction in atlanta georgiaAfter undergoing a mastectomy or lumpectomy following a diagnosis, a breast cancer survivor can be overcome by a lack of self-confidence. Prior to your procedure, I will examine the skin, muscle, and residual breast tissue, and depending on the patient’s individual situation and goals, to create a personalized breast reconstruction treatment plan to provide the most natural-looking results.

If the patient doesn’t have a suitable amount of tissue, I generally insert a silicone or saline implant and tissue expanders, which are balloon-like devices inserted under the skin to progressively stretch the skin, to allow space for the breast implant. Another option is flap reconstruction which includes harvesting healthy tissue, skin, muscle, and fat from another area of the body to rebuild the breast mound. My overall goal is to exchange the patient’s breast tissue, skin, and the nipple-areolar that were removed during a mastectomy or lumpectomy and construct new breasts that look natural and fit the patient’s body accordingly. The nipple and areola can also be rebuilt with the use of cosmetic tattooing.

To further celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness, I encourage you to get involved with The Sport of Giving, a 501(c)(3) grassroots organization supporting women’s cancer care and prevention with special fundraiser events or another organization of your choice. I also recommend getting involved with Life After the Fight, to help promote breast cancer survivors’ professional ventures.

If you are interested in breast reconstruction, The Sport of Giving, or Life After the Fight, contact Dr. David Whiteman today to schedule an appointment. Be sure to connect with Southern Plastic Surgery, P.C. on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for plastic surgery news and updates.

Breast Reconstruction Awareness: Celebrate BRA Day October 17th

Atlanta Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day 2012In our last breast reconstruction blog, we discussed reconstruction options and how looking great after breast cancer shouldn’t be too much to ask. Unfortunately, many women don’t even know their options for breast reconstruction. However, on October 17th, 2012, we will celebrate National Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day, or BRA Day, to encourage breast reconstruction education, awareness, and access.  BRA Day, launched first in Canada in 2011, is now nationally observed each year on the third Wednesday of October (also breast cancer awareness month).

According to the BRA Day website, as many as 7 out of 10 women do not know their breast reconstruction options after mastectomy, or breast cancer removal surgery. Dr. David Whiteman performs various types of breast reconstruction to restore a woman’s breast(s) dependent upon her specific circumstances and preferences. Breast reconstruction surgery can be performed at the same time as mastectomy (immediate breast reconstruction) or delayed for months or years after the cancer is removed.

If there is an adequate amount of breast tissue remaining after cancer removal, breast implants may be used to provide natural-looking volume enhancement. If there’s not enough tissue to support a breast implant, a tissue expander can be used to make room for the implant. However, Dr. Whiteman can also use techniques to create new breast(s) with the patient’s own skin, fat, and muscle.

Dr. Whiteman knows the importance breast reconstruction plays in the breast cancer healing journey, and he wants to help ensure women know their options. He also understands that connecting with other women going through breast cancer treatment and reconstruction can help. Therefore, he created a support group for his patients called the Buddy System. He also founded a business directory, called Life After the Fight, to promote breast cancer survivors’ professional ventures.

For more information about breast reconstruction and other plastic surgery procedures Dr. Whiteman performs, visit his website. Be sure to also connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for BRA Day updates and other plastic surgery news.