PRMA Believes In Shared Decision-Making
What is shared decision-making and why is it important in the breast reconstruction journey?
Every breast reconstruction journey is different and each individual’s situation and reasons for choosing said journey is unique. But one thing is constant—shared decision-making is key for success!
Shared decision-making occurs when the health care professional and patient work together to make a treatment decision that is best for the patient. The best decision takes into account evidence-based information about available treatment options, the physician’s knowledge and experience, and the patient’s preferences and values. Multiple studies show this collaborative approach improves patient outcomes and satisfaction. At PRMA, we believe shared decision-making is the most important aspect of patient-centered health care.
Our surgeons want to know about YOU. During your consultation we want to learn and understand your needs, your expectations, your situation and most importantly, your preferences. Then, based on your medical history, and clinical and social situations, your surgeon will address each of your options from a patient health and safety perspective. We want to ensure you know all of your options when it comes to reconstruction, including the pros and cons of each, and how your choices will impact your life and what’s importantly you, not just in the short-term during recovery, but long-term too.
We very much look forward to discussing your options with you and creating the best treatment plan for you, together.
We also recommend you download the Breast Advocate® App prior to your initial consultation. Created by our very own Dr Chrysopoulo, Breast Advocate® is the World’s first shared decision-making app for breast cancer surgery and breast reconstruction, and will be a very useful tool for you to review information before and after your consultation.
Author: Dr. Minas Chrysopoulo and Courtney Floyd
Our surgeons want to know about YOU! During your consultation we want to discuss your needs, your expectations, and most importantly what you want.
How I wish my mastectomy journey had begun at PRMA! My home is in Georgia and there are only two options given to women here. I could either have implants or a Tram Flap procedure where I would lose my stomach muscle. I wanted to keep my stomach muscle and went with the less invasive choice of implants. When I woke up after my mastectomy and implant breast reconstruction, I was in SO much pain! I literally couldn’t move I hurt so bad. One drain under my left armpit had already made my skin red and painfull. Two weeks later, my left breast was hiot and red and I had a fever that made me delirious. It turns out I had MRSA! Since this deadly infection loves plastic, my expanders had to come out a week later. Immediately I felt better physically but emotionally I felt like my chest was so ugly. The whole experience was so awful that I just decided on wearing a prosthesis. I looked good with clothes on but I avoided looking at myself in the mirror because it made me feel depressed.
During the next four years, I researched breast reconstruction and was surprised and pleased to find the DIEP Flap procedure. Not many places were doing this microsurgery but I remember being most pleased by PRMA in San Antonio (with over 600 DIEP Flap procedures done each year). I really liked that PRMA did these procedures all the time not just periodically. Also, PRMA’s website answered all of my questions, showed before and after pictures, and had a video animation of the procedure. After four years, everything fell into place for me to have this surgery in San Antonio. My college roommate from 34 years ago was able to come and take care of me. Her daughter had a place in San Antonio that we could stay while she was away on an optometry internship. These were unexpected blessings! I was able to pull money out of a Roth IRA and get a surgery date right after school was out where I worked as a teacher. I found two camps and a friend (along with my husband) to take care of my son. God was with me every step of the way..
Since I needed a recliner, I was able to rent a really comfortable one at Rent-a Center for $50 plus dollars. They delivered it, set it up, and then picked it up before I left Texas. Uber was nice to use since a rental was expensive.
Dr. Arishita was my PRMA surgeon. He was so patient and kind. He listened to me and answered all of my questions. My surgery went flawlessly and I was surprised at how well I felt when I woke up. I was up walking the next day and couldn’t believe it. I kept waiting for the pain to hit and it never did. PRMA uses an ERAS protocol which includes nerve blocks during surgery. Whatever it is, I’m a believer! I feel great and smile now when I look in the mirror. Thanks PRMA!
Thank you so much for sharing your story Allison! We are so honored to have served you during this journey.