The Importance of Choosing a Breast Surgery Team Rather Than Just a Surgeon
At PRMA Plastic Surgery, patient care is our top priority. We believe it’s crucial that patients choose a qualified breast surgery team rather than just a surgeon. Picking a team that best meets your needs maximizes the opportunities for the best final outcomes.
The collaborative relationship between the plastic surgeon and breast surgeon can make a very significant difference in patient outcomes. If the plastic surgeon and breast surgeon have a good understanding and relationship with the same goal and patient outcome in mind it maximizes the chance of success.
“When you have a good relationship with your team, whenever potential complications arise these situations are simply obstacles that need to be overcome and because of the relationship the team has, we will be able to get you through in the best way possible,” shares Dr. Minas Chrysopoulo.
Take a look as Dr. Chrysopoulo interviews Dr. Maryam Elmi from The START Center on the importance of choosing the best team for you.
From a breast surgeon’s standpoint, how does it help to work with the same team?
When I’m referring a patient to a reconstructive surgeon, I want to make sure I’m sending them to someone who communicates effectively, has a lot of experience with breast cancer reconstruction, and has an office staff that is responsive and who I have worked with and feel comfortable with.
This relationship works vice versa as well. From a plastic surgeon standpoint, the fact that we work together helps me know what your indications and contraindications are, who’s a good candidate, and I am able to manage patient’s expectations. The fact that our offices work together a lot helps us to streamline things, navigate the patient’s needs, and expedite care as much as possible.
How would you recommend that a patient goes about researching the team aspect?
For patients who aren’t local, I recommend they rely heavily on the referring providers. Many patients thank me for sending them to PRMA because they would have never known about who to select for reconstructive surgery. It’s important to find someone you feel comfortable with and who communicates well with you. You need to have good relationships with your plastics and oncological team because it’s a long-term relationship. We aren’t just reconstructing – we are navigating fertility, genetics, systemic therapy, and lymphedema therapy. Patients need to feel comfortable so they can approach their physicians and ask questions.
What is the importance of patient and physician relationships?
Patients need to ask themselves if the team they have decided on will be able to get them through any possible complications. If they don’t feel like their team can help get them through a complication then maybe it’s time to reconsider.
How should patients approach getting second opinions?
If I sense any hesitation or angst I always offer a second opinion. Or if they need time to think about their options – I give them a list of people I trust. At the end of the day, it’s about the individual patient and the best care for them. We don’t want patients to feel like we are pressuring them to choose a certain plan. We don’t take it personally – this is about you and your cancer journey.
I welcome second opinions and I am quick to give them if a patient is uneasy. As a patient, if you mention that you want a second opinion and your physician is trying to dissuade you, we highly recommend finding another doctor.
What are the next steps for patients at this stage of their journey?
In the end, your goal should be to get the best care from start to finish. If you are lacking confidence in a particular doctor’s treatment, don’t hesitate to seek out a second opinion.
Ultimately asking for another doctor’s opinion can help ease your concerns and guide you if you feel hesitant about your current treatment plan.
Contact Us for a Consultation Regarding Breast Reconstruction
At PRMA, we have a driving principle to help rebuild lives after cancer. We would like to empower you to know all the options available so you can, in turn, decide on the best course of action.
We perform over 700 flap-based reconstructions per year. Very few places in the world can make this claim. We are experts in microsurgical breast reconstruction and have over 25 years of experience. We can help you on your journey to be whole again. You can reach us at 800-692-5569 or schedule a virtual consultation.
“To me, this number represents how many strong women I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and hopefully helping in their breast cancer treatment and reconstruction journey,” shares PRMA Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Ramon Garza III.