One of the most rewarding parts of my job is educating other surgeons and patients on new and exciting techniques in breast cancer and breast reconstruction surgery. I love interacting with surgeons who are truly passionate about learning new approaches to help their patients get better outcomes, and with patients who want to know all of their options to make the best decisions. I often hear from women, though, that they didn’t know what to ask their surgeons to make sure they were getting access to the most innovative, patient-centered care and that they regretted not getting second opinions or researching more before having their surgery. 

Given the psychological and emotional issues that understandably come up when thinking about having breast cancer or reconstruction surgery, women deserve to have a surgeon who is really focused on getting them the best outcome that minimizes the negative impact on their bodies, both short- and long-term, and is least disruptive to their sense of self and body image. Here are a few suggestions to help make sure you’re getting this kind of patient-focused breast surgical care:

1) Ask about where your scars will be. Lumpectomies and mastectomies can often be done in ways where the scars are hidden so you don’t have a constant reminder of your breast cancer or breast surgery.

2) Ask to see before and after pictures of other women who’ve had a similar surgery to what you’re planning. This can help show you where scars will be and what they’ll look like and give you a realistic sense of how you might look after surgery. It also helps you evaluate your surgeon’s results and lets you compare outcomes between surgeons.

3) Consider a second opinion. Different surgeons have different skills and it can be useful to hear more than one recommendation as you’re making your decision. It can also just be helpful to have information presented multiple times so that you really understand your options.

4) Ask if you can speak with other women in the surgeon’s practice who have had the same surgery that you’re considering. This will help you learn more about what to expect and how patients feel about their results. Keep in mind, though, that every woman’s experience is different, so add what you hear from other women who’ve been through it to information from your surgeon and other resources to help you make the best decision.

For more information or to make an appointment to see Dr. Peled, visit annepeledmd.com

or call us at 415-923-3011.

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We are so excited to have welcomed Nicole Daoud, PA-C, into our practice in late 2018. Nicole is bright, energetic, compassionate, and really goes above and beyond to help provide the patient-centered, high-touch care we are so proud of at APMD. As a patient in our practice, you may see Nicole when you come in for your first consultation, at a follow-up or pre-operative visit, or when you come back to the office after surgery.

Wondering what a PA is? PAs, or Physician Assistants, are medical providers who diagnose illness, develop & manage treatment plans, prescribe medications, and often serve as a patient’s principal healthcare professional. With thousands of hours of medical training, PAs are versatile and collaborative. PAs practice in every state and in every medical setting and specialty, improving healthcare access and quality.

To obtain a license, PAs must graduate from an accredited PA program and pass a national certification exam. To maintain their certification, PAs must complete 100 hours of continuing medical education (CME every two years) and pass a re-certification exam every 10 years. PA’s practice in every healthcare work setting and in every specialty.

What’s the difference between a PA and a Nurse Practitioner? Both PAs and nurse practitioners (NPs) play an increasingly vital role as front-line healthcare providers. Although there are some significant differences in training and maintenance of certification requirements, the similarities between PAs and NPs far outweigh the differences. What is important for patients to know is that, regardless of whether they see a PA or an NP, they are being treated by a highly educated, well-trained healthcare provider who places the patient at the center of their care.

Want to find out more?

Visit: American Academy of Physician Assistants

 

 

I was interviewed last week for the article “Choosing Between Over or Under the Muscle” by Paige More over at paigeprevivor.com.  Paige asked me a variety of questions, ranging from my experiences as a survivor of breast cancer to my opinion on Over the Muscle and Under the Muscle breast reconstruction techniques.

Paige had a double mastectomy 2 years ago at 24 and has been blogging at about her experiences and sharing her story to help other women who may need help or have questions about breast cancer and breast cancer surgery, including our topic, whether to go over or under the muscle for implant breast reconstruction.  She is also co-founder of the amazing group The Breasties, which supports young women affected by breast or ovarian cancer.

Our interview covers all sorts of different questions about breast reconstruction, from recovery to screening. If you have any questions about implant reconstruction or switching from under the muscle to over the muscle, give us a call to schedule an appointment to learn more!

Paige Previvor