What NOT to Say to Someone Having Breast Reconstruction Surgery
By: Courtney Floyd
It can be difficult to know exactly what to say to a loved one undergoing breast reconstruction to show your support.
According to women who have had breast reconstruction, here is what NOT to say and why:
Don’t Say “At least you get a free boob job!”
There are many who believe breast reconstruction is simply a free cosmetic breast surgery. This could not be further from the truth. Breast Reconstruction is performed after a woman has undergone removal of her breast tissue for medical reasons. That's a completely different scenario to women choosing to enhance the appearance of their existing, natural breasts. Furthermore, insurance is required to cover breast reconstruction, but this does not mean the surgery is free. Insurance policies come with ongoing costs to maintain, and also an assigned deductible and out of pocket amount that must be paid by the patient. In addition, many women must travel to find surgeons who are experienced in advanced breast reconstruction techniques like the DIEP flap.
At PRMA, we have the privilege of caring for patients from across the globe and offer breast reconstruction patients assistance with travel and accommodation expenses.
Don’t Say “Are you sure you want to do this?”
For many, breast reconstruction is an important part of healing after breast cancer. Although breast reconstruction is not for everyone, it is a something everyone has the right to consider. No matter the choice (implant reconstruction, tissue reconstruction, or no reconstruction), all journeys should be respected and supported.
Don’t Say “Why are you doing this, you have perfectly good boobs?”
Women choosing to have prophylactic (preventative) mastectomy with breast reconstruction do not come to their decisions lightly. Their surgery has nothing to do with what their natural breasts look like, it’s about reducing their risk of developing cancer.
Don’t Say "I had a friend/family member who had reconstruction and she is unhappy with her results."
Sharing negative stories to another before surgery is never helpful. Shared Decision Making with an experienced surgeon is key for a successful breast reconstruction journey. Sadly, many women today are never informed of ALL their breast reconstruction options before undergoing surgery and are left unsatisfied with their final results.
If you are unhappy with your final results please know there are options. At PRMA, we specialize in correcting failed reconstruction. If you are unhappy with your reconstruction and would like to learn more about your options click here.