Weekly Post
Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day 2012
1 year, 6 months ago Posted in: Weekly Post 0
Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day 2012

October 17th is Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day.  According to the event’s official website (www.bradayusa.org), this day was initiated last year in Canada, and this year the event will take place in the USA and 20 other countries.  BRA day will become an annual event falling on the third Wednesday in October.  The purpose of the day is “to promote education, awareness, and access regarding post-mastectomy breast reconstruction.”  Singer/songwriter Jewel is this year’s national spokesperson.  She has written a song to honor breast cancer survivors, and will be giving a free concert with proceeds going to fund research and patient care.

BRA Day USA is a collaborative effort between the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, The Plastic Surgery Foundation, plastic surgeons specializing in breast surgery, nurse navigators, medical device industry representatives and breast cancer support groups. These and other organizations, breast cancer patients, their families and friends coordinate events on BRA Day USA that include question and answer sessions, lectures, flash mobs, fundraising parties, advertising campaigns and community events.

Although breast reconstruction remains a relatively common procedure in many plastic surgery practices, still only 3 out of 10 women appear to have been adequately informed of their breast reconstruction options.  According the the BRA site, only 20% of women of undergo mastectomy proceed with breast reconstruction.  Although some confusion persists amongst the public, breast reconstruction is not cosmetic surgery, and is covered under all insurance plans that also reimburse for mastectomy.

According to statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), 96, 277 breast reconstruction procedures were performed in 2011.  In addition to tissue expander and implant based reconstructions, roughly 20,000 flap procedures were reported.  These flap procedures utilize the patient’s own tissues in the process sometimes in conjunction with breast implants.  The three most common flap breast reconstruction procedures include TRAM (transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous) flaps, latissimus flaps, and DIEP (deep inferior epigastric artery perforator) flaps.

Artist's depiction of a TRAM Flap procedure

 

More information about breast reconstruction can be found here and here.

 

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