Your Best Options for Breast Reconstruction? There’s an App for That
03 Feb 2017
Breast reconstruction is a complicated topic. First, you have to decide between breast reconstruction and going flat. If you’re considering reconstruction, you have to decide whether you want to get immediate or delayed reconstruction. You also have to look at your best options for breast reconstruction. Finally, you must figure out what type of reconstruction you want.
As you may already know, there are many types of breast reconstruction out there. There’s implants, autologous reconstruction using tissue from your body, or a combination. With all the choices out there, you may feel overwhelmed.
So, which reconstruction choice is best for you?
Mobile Scoring App for Breast Reconstruction
We found a breast reconstruction scoring app that helps you see which procedures are riskier based on your medical history.
Called the Breast Reconstruction Risk Assessment (BRA) Score, the app is available on the Android store. You can also take the assessment online here. Researchers at the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery developed the app. It includes twelve questions that relate to specific details about you. The app provides you with personalized results about post-operative complications based on your answers
To create the application, researchers relied on statistical risk models. These models are based on average complication rates for women with varying backgrounds.
This app is not meant to replace the discussions that you have with your physicians, family, or friends. Instead, it serves as an extra tool to use during your decision-making.
But if the app doesn’t make the decision for you, then how do you make the decision?
Do Some Research
There’s a huge array of resources and information available online. If you’re struggling with finding the right breast reconstruction option for you, it may help to take a look at these resources. You can find everything from basic statistics and medical information to personal stories. Komen has a resource about breast reconstruction types that provides a huge range of information.
There are also plenty of interviews available online. This one is with the Chief of the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgical Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering. It covers a few details about the various types of breast reconstruction and what the procedures entail.
Okay, time for some self-promotion . . .
Our website has a huge library of articles dealing with deciding on the right breast reconstruction.
We’ve written about almost everything you can think of. Some of our readers prefer to search for topics with our search tool.
We have a great article that discusses who you can talk to when deciding whether to get breast reconstruction. This includes information about discussing your decisions with medical professionals, counselors, and other women.
You can also find an awesome piece about deciding between immediate and delayed breast reconstruction. It talks about why some women choose delayed versus immediate reconstruction. Plus, it points out that there is no “right” choice for all women because breast reconstruction is an individual choice. Still, another piece details the pros and cons of both immediate and delayed reconstruction.
Beyond online resources, ask your physician for information. Many hospitals have brochures and packets that detail various breast reconstruction options. These provide you with a basic understanding of the procedures and their risks.
Update (3/8/17): We just interviewed and posted a guest article from breast reconstruction specialist, Dr. Thomas Lam, from Australia who has taken part in the development of a similar type of decision-making software. Called Breconda (Breast Reconstruction Decision Aid), it also helps women understand their options. Check it out! All you need to register for it is your name and email address.