Once a woman has chosen to undergo a mastectomy, she must then consider whether or not she would like to have breast reconstruction. To help women navigate decisions about reconstruction options, the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation has developed a Shared Decision-Making® program called Breast Reconstruction: Is It Right for You?
The program is for women with breast cancer who want to learn more about breast reconstruction. It may be used as a companion program to either Early Stage Breast Cancer: Choosing Your Surgery or Ductal Carcinoma In Situ: Choosing Your Treatment.
This program describes the procedure and possible complications for various breast reconstruction choices: no reconstruction; wearing a prosthesis; or implant and flap procedures. The program is designed to help women choose whether they want reconstruction, and if so, what type and when.
Interviews showcase real patients who had each of the major types of reconstructions and those who opted for no reconstruction. Clinician interviews feature a breast surgeon, a psychiatric oncology consultant and a plastic surgeon. The program also includes photos of real women who had each type of reconstruction, including surgery to make the other breast match the reconstructed one in size and shape, and to add a nipple to the reconstructed breast. Images of mastectomy scars from women who chose not to undergo reconstruction are also included.
This program was developed with our production partner, Health Dialog. It is available as a DVD, a booklet and a web-based program (Health Crossroads®) for Health Dialog members.