St. Peters Plastic Surgeon Debunks Common Myths About Breast Reconstruction
Dr. Jeffrey Copeland of Copeland Cosmetic Surgery provides more accurate information about breast reconstruction surgery by responding to five common myths about the treatment.
St. Peters, MO – In the month of October, the nation observes Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This is an annual campaign to raise awareness about breast cancer and its impact on people’s lives. After a mastectomy, many women choose to undergo breast reconstruction surgery to rebuild the shape and appearance of their breasts. Dr. Jeffrey Copeland of Copeland Cosmetic Surgery understands that some patients may be hesitant about seeking treatment due to misinformation that has circulated around certain topics related to breast reconstruction. To help educate the community during this time, St. Peters plastic surgeon Dr. Copeland aims to debunk some common misconceptions about breast reconstruction surgery.
Myth #1: Breast reconstruction surgery must be done immediately after a mastectomy. Dr. Copeland says that women who want breast reconstruction surgery promptly after a mastectomy, also known as an “immediate reconstruction,” often may do so. On the other hand, many patients who want to delay breast reconstruction can schedule it for weeks, months, or years after a mastectomy.
Myth #2: Patients have to get breast implants for breast reconstruction surgery. There are a variety of techniques to add volume to the breasts besides placing breast implants. “Patients who do not desire an implant reconstruction can undergo an autologous reconstruction, also known as a ‘flap’ reconstruction,” says Dr. Copeland. The flap reconstruction procedure involves removing skin, fat, and possibly muscle from a section of the body, usually the abdomen, and using that tissue to rebuild the shape of the breast. Sometimes, Dr. Copeland suggests a combination of flap and implant reconstruction to deliver the best results.
Myth #3: Women cannot have breast reconstruction surgery if they are undergoing radiation therapy. A patient is able to have a breast reconstruction procedure even if they have undergone radiation therapy in the past or are currently receiving radiation treatment. Dr. Copeland usually changes the technique he uses if the patient has undergone or is currently undergoing radiation therapy. “Although I can effectively rebuild breasts for patients undergoing radiation treatment, I may recommend delayed breast reconstruction depending on the patient’s unique circumstances,” says Dr. Copeland.
Myth #4: It will be hard to detect breast cancer in patients who have undergone breast reconstruction surgery. There are currently no studies showing that it is difficult to identify breast cancer in breast reconstruction patients; however, Dr. Copeland says that women should still disclose to the radiology technician that they have reconstructed breasts if they are getting a breast screening. This allows the radiology tech to adjust their methods and use the proper techniques for the breast examination. Dr. Copeland mentions that a radiology tech may alternatively take a 3D mammogram or an MRI to evaluate the breasts if needed.
Myth #5: Breasts will have an unnatural appearance after breast reconstruction surgery. Dr. Copeland explains how he meticulously performs the procedure to achieve outcomes that look and feel natural to the patient. His advice to women is to find an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon who has a history of successful breast reconstruction surgeries. This helps ensure that the patient will receive the best quality of care and optimal results.
Breast reconstruction surgery is known to improve a woman’s quality of life, especially after undergoing a mastectomy. There are many physical and psychological benefits of having breast reconstruction treatment. Dr. Copeland hopes that the information that he has given helps women decide if breast reconstruction is right for them. He also encourages patients to contact his practice if they have any further questions, or to schedule a consultation.
About Jeffrey Copeland, MD
Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Copeland offers a variety of cosmetic surgeries, reconstructive procedures, and non-surgical treatments at his practice, Copeland Cosmetic Surgery. He completed his undergraduate education at the University of Missouri-Columbia and went on to medical school at the same institution. After medical school, Dr. Copeland finished full residencies in general surgery and plastic surgery and even spent a year as a fellow in the microvascular lab. Dr. Copeland has held a variety of distinguished positions in the Missouri State Medical Association and the Missouri Association of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, and is a dedicated member of the American Medical Association (AMA), American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), and many more professional organizations. Dr. Copeland is available for interview upon request.
For more information about Copeland Cosmetic Surgery, please visit copelandcosmeticsurgery.com and facebook.com/copelandcosmeticsurgery.
Copeland Cosmetic Surgery
#2 Richmond Center Court
St. Peters, MO 63376