Are too many women having breast reconstruction?

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Are too many women having breast reconstruction? Sharrie Williams reports during Action News at 4 p.m. on May 3, 2017. (WPVI)

A new survey suggests too many breast cancer patients may be getting reconstruction surgery, without knowing what it entails.

Researchers surveyed 126 women either diagnosed with breast cancer or at high risk of breast cancer and who were planning to undergo a mastectomy.

These women answered a set of multiple choice questions to demonstrate their knowledge about surgery and reconstruction, and then they were asked about their personal preferences about reconstruction surgery, including breast shape, their willingness to accept the risk of complications, how much they cares about the number of surgeries they would undergo, and how they felt about recovery time.

Less than half the women (43%) taking the survey correctly answered questions about the surgery, how many operation might be involved, the risk of complications, and the recovery process.

Researchers say that often, women underwent mastectomy with reconstruction even though their personal preferences didn't fit with the realities of the reconstruction process - that they were better candidates for mastectomy alone.
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