This book would be most useful for:-
• Someone with breast cancer
• The partner or carer of someone with breast cancer
• A relative or friend of someone with breast cancer
The books covers the range of breast treatment stages, but focuses on the reconstruction element predominantly. It is therefore useful to those who wish to educate themselves about surgery to the breast for the treatment or prevention of breast cancer.
This is a book about surgery to the breast (and for Americans – obtaining insurance payout for such treatment). Therefore anyone wished to know more about those matters would be well served by this book.
The book is divided into parts.
Part one is about Mastectomy and the different aspects of this, including male mastectomy and also lumpectomy. The surgical methods used for mastectomy or lumpectomy and how these affect reconstruction of the breast or breasts.
Part two is about reconstructive procedures and takes the reader through the different techniques that can be used to rebuild the breast following surgery. Implants and autologous techniques are described in detail along with some pros and cons. Adjusting the remaining breast to match the new breast are discussed as are nipple and areola reconstruction.
Part three is about the operation: pre-op, post-op, recovery and moving forward into the future. It provides a countdown to the surgery (in some instances only useful to those having surgery in USA, but other bits are still helpful), what to expect in the hospital and how to prepare for your return back home. It also takes the reader through potential problems that could arise, as well as taking them beyond recovery and back to normal, many folks don’t realise how traumatic that is in itself, so it is good to see it covered here!
Part four is about finding answers and making decisions. It is useful to guide you in choosing your treatment wherever you live. But the majority of this seems to be biased to those who will be having their treatment in America and how to ensure that their insurance will cover errors their treatment and accommodate their reconstruction preferences. It does have a helpful section for those who will not be having the construction, but who will support, care for or be a friend of someone who is.
Finally there are sections on Notes (referenced throughout the book), Glossary, Resources and an Index. All useful to enable the reader to move back and forth within the book to access the most relevant information as needed.
The bit of the book on prophylactic bilateral mastectomy (PBM) MAY now be out of date and I have copied the information from the book and a news article for reference, below, although PBM is about avoiding cancer altogether. I only highlight this to bring to attention the tendency for any factual books to go “out of date” with the advancement of science and technology. Therefore any reader should check their facts carefully before relying on information in books.
“ If you’re a previvor, prophylactic bilateral mastectomy (PBM) is the most effective way to reduce your breast cancer risk, lowering the odds of a diagnosis by 90 percent or more. “
From a 12 January 2018 news article – young breast cancer patients with faulty BRCA genes have the same survival chances as those without.
The book includes a lot of acronyms, but these are all written in full the first time that they are used. There is also a glossary at the end of the book, along with notes where references have been made in the text.
I reviewed the kindle version of the book and found it easy to read. It was easy enough to enlarge images, tables and photographs to view them. The author wrote in an informative tone at just the right level for someone who doesn’t know all the technical terms for treatments on offer, including full descriptions of what each procedure involves. Visual materials were useful and purposeful, rather than just put in to pad out the book, they were inserted into the text in appropriate places and allowed the reading odd the book to flow without hindering the reader.
Having all the information about how mastectomy (or lumpectomy) is carried out, immediately, or subsequently, followed by the reconstruction; and the different reconstruction methods, is extremely useful.
It wasn’t a generic book for all world areas, it was very definitively American. This may or may not be a problem for readers about to go through a procedure. However, non-American readers will have to filter out the non-helpful facts during their reading /research.
Overall I decided that this book would be QUITE USEFUL. The reason being because it was in essence an American book and there quite large sections of the text that would not apply to readers in other parts of the world. However the information about the actual treatment and surgical procedures and the research and decision making processes is useful to anyone considering reconstruction.
I would probably recommend this book to other people affected by breast cancer.
“It pays to thoroughly research your options and know what to expect before you decide whether breast reconstruction is right for you.”
4/5 Stars (What this means…five-stars-applied-carefully)
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Since 2002, The Breast Reconstruction Guidebook has been the best resource on this topic for women who have had a mastectomy. Equal parts science and support, it is filled with stories that illustrate the emotional and physical components of breast reconstruction. Kathy Steligo, a gifted writer and breast cancer survivor who has twice had breast reconstruction, compassionately answers women’s questions about how they will respond emotionally and physically to losing a breast, whether to treat or prevent breast cancer. Steligo provides detailed descriptions of the various surgical options for mastectomy and reconstruction, as well as information on choosing and paying for a surgeon, preparing for and recovering from surgery, and handling the many practical details and difficult decisions women will face along the way. A road map of the mastectomy and reconstruction journey, this book gives women the comprehensive, unbiased details they need to make their own informed decisions about whether reconstruction―and which reconstructive option―is right for them.
Readers learn how breasts can be recreated using implants or their own tissue and the advantages and disadvantages of each option. Surgery timelines, recovery, and potential problems (and how they can be resolved) are also explained. A new foreword by Dr. Minas Chrysopoulo, MD, of the PRMA Plastic Surgery Center for Advanced Breast Reconstruction, highlights the book’s strengths and offers a medical perspective on breast cancer and reconstructive surgery.
The extensively updated text includes new discussions of
• innovative reconstructive procedures
• contralateral mastectomy
• the benefits and limitations of nipple- and areola-sparing mastectomies
• nipple delay procedure
• patient-controlled tissue expansion
• cohesive gel silicone implants
• microsurgical advances that improve tissue flap procedures
• fat grafting
• nipple reconstruction
• nipple and areola tattooing
• reconstruction with the BRAVA system
• pregnancy after TRAM
• male mastectomy and reconstruction
• decision making and solving cosmetic and medical post-op problems
• surgical procedures that reduce the risk of cancer
• the latest research data on mastectomy and reconstruction
• and much more
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