NEW BRUNSWICK – The American Society of Plastic Surgeons estimates that 93,000 women in America underwent breast reconstruction following mastectomies last year, an increase of nearly 20 percent from the number of procedures a decade ago. The increase reflects improvements in surgical techniques that minimize scarring and reduce the risk of complications while greatly enhancing the appearance of women who might have feared that cancer surgery would disfigure them for life, according to Dr. Philip Wey, a plastic surgeon and clinical associate professor at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
“When a woman comes to see me with breast cancer and needs reconstruction, it’s really great news to let her know there’s light at the end of the tunnel,” Dr. Wey said. “After reconstruction, a lot of women look even better than they did before they were diagnosed.”
As detection and treatment of breast cancer continue to improve, the number of breast cancer survivors continues to grow. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than 2.5 million breast cancer survivors currently living in the United States.
“October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the care of the women who have breast cancer is at the highest level of importance for us,” Wey said. “It’s impossible to not know someone in our own family or among our neighbors or friends who hasn’t in some way been touched by breast cancer.”
Dr. Wey will discuss both breast reconstruction and the myths and miracles associated with other forms of plastic surgery as one of the featured speakers at UMDNJ’s “University for a Day” on October 22, at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick. “University for a Day” is a day of learning with noted UMDNJ professors on their areas of expertise. Introductory videos by Dr. Wey and other featured lecturers are now available on the UMDNJ website. Registration for for this event is available at the “University for a Day” webpage.
The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) is the nation’s largest free-standing public health sciences university with more than 6,000 students on five campuses attending the state’s three medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and New Jersey’s only school of public health. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, which provides a continuum of healthcare services with multiple locations throughout the state.