Body Image and Breast Reconstruction Complications – Are They Related?
Have you ever heard the expression “if you look good, you feel good?” Well, turns out, there may be some truth in this funny saying! According to many research articles, the state of our psychological health is oftentimes a contributor to our overall health. In relation to breast reconstruction specifically, a recent study has found that how we feel about ourselves prior to surgery may have a correlation to how our body heals after surgery.
The study followed 302 breast cancer patients undergoing breast reconstruction over a four-year period. Each patient completed a BREAST-Q survey and was followed after surgery to document any complications.
After analyzing the data, researchers found that patients who reported lower satisfaction with their personal body image or felt less self-confident or attractive, were significantly more likely to develop an infection after surgery. Likewise, patients who reported lower satisfaction with how they appeared in a mirror unclothed were at an increased risk for delayed wound healing.
Interesting…right?! Patients who struggle with a positive self-body image may also struggle with an increased risk of infection and delayed wound healing.
In the self-focused, highly filtered, truth disoriented, and the public world we live in today, it is easy to look at yourself and only see the imperfections! It’s something that almost every individual in this world struggles with. If you are someone who truly struggles with a negative self-body image and are considering breast reconstruction, it may be advisable (from a mental and physical health standpoint) to seek counseling to help improve your self-perception before undergoing surgery. Especially when faced with the many body changes that come along with a breast cancer diagnosis, being comfortable and confident with your changing body may be a struggle and a journey. But rest assured you’re not alone!
If you or a loved one is interested in connecting with a community who can help with improving body image perceptions before and after breast cancer surgery, let us know! We would be happy to connect you!