Dutch make breast reconstruction standard in cancer treatment
Efforts are being made to standardise the way women diagnosed with breast cancer in the Netherlands are offered reconstructive surgery.
In some hospitals women are not offered reconstructive surgery immediately after an operation at all, while in others breast reconstruction is a standard part of the treatment plan, reported broadcaster Nos.
Patients’ and doctors’ organisations have now agreed to try to standardise the approach to ensure women are properly informed about the choices they can make and their treatment. "It is often possible to carry out reconstructive surgery immediately after a breast amputation, so that the patient does not wake up ‘flat-chested’," René van der Hulst, chairman of the plastic surgeons’ association NVPC told the broadcaster.
Research shows that reconstruction reduces the psychological, social and sexual problems which arise from losing a breast.