The Texas legislature has introduced a bill to be entitled an act that, if passed into law, will ensure that patients are informed about their options in breast reconstruction surgery.
With the amendment of section 311.004, the health and safety code in the State of Texas would include requirements to notify patients undergoing certain breast surgery about reconstructive surgery and the availability of insurance coverage for these procedures.
The act applies to hospitals that provide mastectomy, lumpectomy or lymph node dissection. Hospitals in Texas would need to provide written information on breast reconstruction options prior to obtaining consent for these procedures.
Such information would include descriptions of:
Options in reconstructive breast surgery
Advantages and disadvantages involved with each method
Provisions regarding private and public health insurance coverage
Steps the patient can take when accessing care for reconstructive surgery
You can read more about the bill from Texas Legislature Online. If you support the bill and believe that patients should be fully informed about breast reconstruction, we encourage you to contact your representative in the Texas legislature and tell them you support this bill.
Michelle Martin, one teen featured in the segment, had a breast augmentation at 19 after years of being teased for having a small chest.
Martin said the recovery and scars from the surgery were a small price to pay to make up for the scars left by years of teasing and feelings of inadequacy. She said she “absolutely” feels prettier.
“This was just something to make me feel better. To make me happy. To make me feel like a beautiful woman,” said Martin.
High school senior Erica Morgo, another featured teen, says that she was bullied by her classmates in middle school because of her nose. “They would call me Pinocchio. And in school, in class, people would point it out. I felt helpless. I felt like a loser,” she said.
Her mother, Dana Manzella, allowed Erica, then 15, to undergo rhinoplasty to reshape her nose.
“I think that was definitely a good decision, because it brought her back — her self-esteem back up to be able to do activities that she did before, with comfort,” her mother said.
Nearly 90,000 teenagers had plastic surgery in 2007, and doctors say the numbers are growing, according to the report.
“I do see a fair amount of parents coming in with their child because of bullying and teasing and feelings of self-consciousness,” said surgeon Dr. Michael Fiorillo. “My preference is, of course, to work out the issues first, the bullying, the teasing. But there are certain situations where people are mature enough. And surgery is a final resort.”
Popular plastic surgeries for teenagers include nose jobs, breast reductions, breast augmentations and ear tucks.
If you’re considering plastic surgery this year, getting it in the winter season offers several benefits: there are often plastic surgery specials to take advantage of, and if you get your procedures done this winter you’ll be ready when summer comes.
The Boston Herald reported on this trend, and one doctor said that some of his patients turn to liposuction in January after a frustrating year of not losing weight.
Plastic surgeon Dr. Gregory Antoine has found that women come in January to get liposuction so that they look good for summertime.
Timing plastic surgery procedures earlier in the year allows for plenty of recovery time so that once it’s swimsuit season you’re ready to show off the results of your liposuction or breast augmentation.
The article also reported that plastic surgeons and spa owners said that men are often giving the gift of a cosmetic procedure to their wives or girlfriends who want to start off the New Year with a new look for their body or face.
“It’s the same reason health clubs are busy in January,” said Cheryl Clarkson, who owns spa centers in the Boston area. “They get up their resolve and they say this is the year they want to do it, and, of course, they want it done right away.”
Fifty-seven women who received immediate reconstruction after mastectomy participated in the study. The women were interviewed to collect demographic and clinical characteristics and took various health and personality surveys.
The researchers found that two personality types were linked to higher quality of life scores. One group was women with high scores for the temperamental characteristic of “harm avoidance.” Lead researcher Dr. Silvio Bellino and his coauthors characterized this group as apprehensive and doubtful. “Restoration of body image could help…to reduce social anxiety and insecurity,” they wrote about these particular patients.
Another group that had higher quality-of-life scores were those that rated as “vindictive/self-centered” on a scale of interpersonal problems. “Breast reconstruction could symbolize the conclusion of a reparative process and fulfill the desire of revenge on cancer,” according to the authors.
None of the other factors evaluated, including the characteristics of the cancer and its treatment, were significantly related to quality of life scores. The study found that mastectomy followed by breast reconstruction yielded significant improvement in quality of life overall.
“A preoperative personality assessment of patients requiring breast reconstruction will be useful to identify predictive factors of better subjective quality of life after surgery,” the researchers wrote. A personality assessment, the authors concluded, could help to identify women who could benefit from psychotherapy during the period after reconstruction, with the goals of “preventing depressive symptoms and improving interpersonal relations.”