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Health News 2 Use: More breast reconstruction options

Posted at 11:21 PM, Oct 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-23 00:30:39-04

TULSA, Okla. — During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an Oklahoma plastic surgeon wants women to know they now have more options than ever before to restore what cancer takes away.

However, Rola Eid, DO, Medical Director of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Cancer Treatment Centers of America, warns only one in three women knows her rights - much less what's available. She spends the majority of her time, and specializes in, helping breast cancer patients.

"Here at CTCA, any woman that comes in with a breast cancer diagnosis not only meets with the breast surgeon but also the plastic surgeon - before she chooses any cancer surgery," Dr. Rola Eid told 2 Works for You news anchor Karen Larsen.

She wants patients to know the surgical options that can not only help them look good, but also feel better following surgery. Insurance will cover reconstructive surgery on both breasts for lumpectomy and mastectomy patients.

"Insurance pays for that so it's a one-step process that a woman can have her cancer removed and her breasts reshaped, and that may involve a lift or a breast reduction," said Dr. Eid.

She works side by side with the breast surgeon with the goal of reshaping the breast at the same time they remove the cancer. Today, there are new options for patients.

"They can have their breast shaped at the time of mastectomy using their own tissue," Dr. Eid said. "Some people call it creating an "A" cup. Fat grafting can be used later down the road to help build up the breast and chest wall to give it more of a natural shape."

Fat grafting is growing more popular as it offers the patient the added bonus of body contouring.

"We use liposuction to take fat from an unwanted area of the body - such as the tummy or the love handles - and then you take those fat cells and place them back into the breast to create a smooth, shaped and natural-looking breast," she added. "Most women love this!"

Breast implants are another popular choice for an immediate and natural look. More than one million women across the world, and possibly up to three million, have undergone breast augmentation and reconstruction surgery, according to the National Institutes of Health. Recently, a rare form of lymphoma was associated with a certain type of textured breast implants. However, Dr. Eid says it is rare. Less than one-percent of patients have developed the problem.

"Breast implants may be the most studied medical device on the planet. They have been studied and scrutinized and verified to be safe for decades."

Dr. Eid recommends that every patient talk with their general surgeon and then get a second opinion from a plastic surgeon. The second opinion, she said, may lead the patient to a better option or simply validate that "you are on the right path."

For more information about breast cancer treatment, click here.

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