No Easy Choices on Reconstruction

“No Easy Choices on Reconstruction.” By Roni Caryn Rabin, The New York Times Well Blog.

Last week the actress Angelina Jolie announced in The New York Times that she had had a double mastectomy in February after testing positive for a genetic mutation that put her at high risk for breast and ovarian cancer. She also had reconstructive surgery. Her disclosure was lauded by some advocates as a bold move that will inspire women to be proactive, learn about their family histories and risks, and consider genetic testing. At the same time, some breast surgeons are discomfited that some might infer from the article that reconstructive surgery is a quick and easy procedure, and worry that Ms. Jolie inadvertently may have understated the risks and potential complications. For most patients breast reconstruction requires an extended series of operations and follow-up visits that can yield variable results. Some women experience so many complications that they just have the implants removed.

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