The importance of using a board-certified plastic surgeon for breast reconstruction
Choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon for breast reconstruction has many benefits. If you’re considering reconstructive surgery following a mastectomy take a few minutes to learn about plastic surgery certification—and its role in ensuring you’re healthy and satisfied with your procedure.
What is a mastectomy?
A mastectomy is a type of surgery used to treat or prevent breast cancer in which a whole breast is removed. If you’ve had a mastectomy to remove one or both of your breasts you may have the option to reconstruct the shape of the removed breast.
Not all women choose to have their breasts reconstructed or rebuilt but those who do have a number of options. There are different methods of reconstruction including implants BRAVA and tissue transfers. Beyond the procedure itself you also have the option to choose who performs the surgery.
How to choose your surgeon
Choosing the right plastic surgeon to perform your reconstruction is an important decision. It’s a good idea to do your homework and prepare some questions before you meet with any prospective surgeon. Be sure to focus on the surgeon’s qualifications and confirm that they’re certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS).
Plastic surgery is an advanced surgical specialty according to Reid Health’s Dr. S. Travis Greathouse and one that requires certification and extensive training. “The ABPS certification requires rigorous training after medical school to verify that a surgeon can handle all aspects of the surgeries and possible complications” Greathouse explained.
In fact ABPS-certified surgeons must have six years of training in surgery three of which must be devoted to plastic surgery. In addition these professionals must undergo a one-year evaluation period during which their entire practice is scrutinized — from the outcome of the procedures they perform to their ethics and finances. Only those surgeons who meet the ABPS’ exacting standards earn certification.
What it all means for you
Patients benefit from the extensive training that a board-certified surgeon receives not only because of the quality of the procedure but also because these surgeons are trained to handle possible complications. When you’re having a procedure completed you should be comfortable with your surgeon’s ability to prevent problems and manage any issue that may arise.
“While the surgeries themselves can be fairly easy to learn it is challenging to learn how to manage the complications” said Dr. Greathouse. “Some surgeons learn how to perform plastic surgery in a weekend course.” That is to say they’re not trained to prevent or manage complications. Johns Hopkins Medicine warned that these problems can sometimes be serious and require additional surgeries to correct.
Any board-certified plastic surgeon must also participate in continuing education which means their practice is continually improving throughout their career.
While you’re considering your options for reconstructive breast surgery take the time to get to know your prospective surgeon. The more comfortable you feel the easier the procedure will be.
Image source: Flickr