Year: 2011

Dr. Toni Zhong – Breast Reconstruction Rate in Canada Appears to Lag Other Countries: Researchers

Only a small percentage of Canadian women appear to opt for breast reconstruction following mastectomy, despite the safety of the procedure and its positive effects on a patient’s self-esteem, researchers say.

Use of immediate breast reconstruction at the same time as mastectomy has increased in the U.S. but not in Ontario, says Dr. Toni Zhong, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Princess Margaret Hospital.

Only a small percentage of Canadian women appear to opt for breast reconstruction following mastectomy, despite the safety of the procedure and its positive effects on a patient’s self-esteem, researchers say.

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Dr. Toni Zhong – Advanced post-mastectomy breast reconstruction improves women’s psychosocial and sexual wellbeing

TORONTO – Women who lose a breast to cancer report improvements in their state of mind and well-being three weeks after breast reconstruction surgery, a new survey indicates.

However, 20 per cent of the women experienced minor or major complications related to the reconstruction surgery, and many of the women were grappling with significant deterioration in the strength of their abdomen — the donor site for tissue to reconstruct the breast.

But study co-author Dr. Toni Zhong said that even when complications, lack of strength at the donor site, scarring and time off work were factored in, the positives outweighed the negatives.

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Dr. Melinda Musgrave – Breast Cancer Survivors Feel “Selfish” About Reconstructive Surgery

Dr. Melinda Musgrave was featured in Forbes recently with regards to breast cancer survivors and breast reconstruction:

Each year more than 254,000 American women battle breast cancer. But according to a new study very few of them will opt for breast reconstruction surgery after treatment.

Less than one-fifth of American women who undergo mastectomy currently choose to undergo breast reconstruction. Dr. Melinda Musgrave, a plastic surgeon at St. Michael’s Hospital who revealed findings that in Canada the number is as low as 7%, is determined to find out why this occurs.

“Reconstruction has a very positive effort on these women as they go through their breast cancer journey,” she says. “The problem is that it’s still seen as cosmetic or unnecessary and it needs to be brought into the correct light.”

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Drs. Joan Lipa and Laura Snell – Surgeons Team Up for Better Results

Drs. Joan Lipa and Laura Snell were featured in the Toronto Star with regards to Sunnybrook’s Odette Cancer Centre and breast cancer care.

When Lori Vajda woke up in the recovery room of Sunnybrook hospital after a double mastectomy seven months ago, the first thing she did was to look at where her breasts had been.

What she saw were her new breasts.

“Better than they were before,” says the 42-year old registered nurse who lives and works in Barrie. “They looked big again, very full.”

The 14-hour surgery, performed by an oncologic surgeon and a plastic surgeon working in tandem, was a significant medical, esthetic and logistical achievement.

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Dr. Ron Zuker – Gearing up for Canada’s First Face and Upper Limb Transplants

Dr. Ron Zuker was featured in the Globe and Mail recently with regards to Canada’s first face and upper limb transplants.

Specialists in Toronto are gearing up to perform Canada’s first face and limb transplants, experimental procedures that push the boundaries of accepted surgical practice and can bolster the reputations of the doctors and institutions that perform them.

Provided they receive approval from hospital administrators, surgeons at the University Health Network and the Hospital for Sick Children hope to perform the first surgeries early next year and then do about five face transplants and up to 25 upper limb transplants a year.

The techniques are still risky and highly controversial. But doctors in Toronto say the surgeries are now far enough advanced that they believe they can go ahead with them safely. At the same time, the area is still so young they can position themselves as leaders in a rapidly growing field.

“That’s what we’re here for is to explore new techniques,” said Ron Zuker, a plastic surgeon at the Hospital for Sick Children and co-director of the face and limb transplant program. “I think anybody who does it almost automatically is a leader.”

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