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Tata Kharghar hosp gets spl breast reconstruction OT

  • Tata Kharghar hosp gets spl breast reconstruction OT

    Posted By : Malathy Iyer

    MUMBAI: Tata Memorial Centre, the premier cancer hub, has given one of its 14 newly inaugurated operation theatres in its ACTREC centre, Kharghar, to the plastic surgery department for conducting only one type of surgery: Breast reconstruction. Although multiple studies in the West have shown breast reconstruction can positively impact psychological and sexual health, self-esteem and iron out body image issues after mastectomy (surgery to remove all breast tissues), it is still not often suggested to breast cancer patients in India. Statistics show less than 1% undergo breast reconstruction after mastectomy in India.

    "Patients and their families are not only too focused on treatment outcomes, many are unaware about reconstruction," said Dr Saumya Mathews from the hospital's plastic surgery department. Even in private hospitals, not many know of it, she added.

    It is to spread awareness that Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH) recently started a video awareness campaign titled '#IChoseYes: Helping Women CHOOSE to Feel Whole Again'. Dr Mathews quotes the example of a house help (60) who wanted it as people would be wary of giving her work if she had a misshapen body.

    The burden of breast cancer in India is growing-the incidence rate has increased by nearly 40% in the past three decades. In 2016, 1.18 lakh cases were detected in India.

    TMC director Dr R Badwe, a breast cancer surgeon, said as 75% of breast cancer patients are diagnosed in the early phase, they are offered conservation surgery in which only the affected areas are removed. "Many in the remaining 25% though would need reconstruction surgery,'' he said.

    At TMH, where 12,000 breast cancer surgeries are performed every year, only 70 breast reconstruction surgeries were performed last year, mainly because it focuses on reconstruction for patients of head and neck cancer, which accounts for 30% of all cancer cases in India. "However, the incidence of breast cancer is growing in India, and an increased number of women would need reconstruction,'' said Dr Vinay Shankhdhar, who heads TMH plastic surgery department. It was with this thought that the department got a separate OT for breast reconstruction at ACTREC. Dr Badwe added, "We would ideally like to offer one more OT on a few other weekdays to ensure more patients can get reconstruction done."

    There is a growing recognition about its importance in recovery. In a study published in 2021 in 'PRS-Global Open', a peer-reviewed medical journal, doctors from Ganga Hospital interviewed 10,299 women and found 76.5% would prefer breast reconstruction.

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