St. Joseph's Health Care has options for women after a mastectomy
St. Joseph’s Health Care is holding Breast Cancer Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day Wednesday for women to learn more about post-mastectomy options.
The program on Wednesday will allow people to discuss the surgical choices available to breast cancer patients.
Our CTV London News crew went behind the scenes into the operating room to look at these options.
On this day at St. Joe’s, plastic surgeon Dr. Aaron Grant performs a surgery that involves inserting a saline-filled implant in the breast.
"It'll be a two-step procedure for this patient who today had the tissue expander put in place,” Grant says.
“I'll see her in clinic a couple of times where I can fill out the tissue expander. Then we can take out the expander and put in a permanent implant."
The patient, a woman in her 70s, decided to have the procedure five years after a mastectomy.
The surgery is deemed a success.
In this case, the breast was reconstructed with an implant.
There are also other options, including taking tissue from the stomach and rebuilding the breast with it.
Women have a number of choices including the non-surgical option of a prosthesis.
For Maria Moore, a radiation therapist at the London Regional Cancer Program, reconstruction surgery was right for her.
“I felt I was getting back what cancer had taken from me. I think it's part of the healing process for me."
Margo Bettger Hahn is the clinical nurse specialist with St. Joe’s Breast Care Program and says the awareness day is important.
“It gives them the opportunity to talk to women who've lived the experience. We can describe what it's all about, but hearing from women who've walked that journey is so valuable," she says.