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Angelina Jolie's surgeon gives advice to all women

Published On: Oct 23 2013 09:44:17 AM CDT
Updated On: Nov 07 2013 08:22:54 AM CST
Angelina Jolie, April 2013 G8 meeting

Toby Melville/Reuters

HOLLYWOOD, FL - Thousands of board certified plastic surgeons, including the plastic surgeon who performed Angelina Jolie’s breast reconstruction, are joining forces with breast centers, support groups and breast cancer survivors to send a powerful message. The second annual Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day USA, organized by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and The Plastic Surgery Foundation (The PSF), was Oct. 16 in hundreds of cities across the country.

The Beverly Hills plastic surgeon for Angelina Jolie’s recent breast reconstruction was among the surgeons driving BRA Day efforts.  He spoke at a reception as part of the flagship BRA Day USA events held in the Hollywood, Fla., area. Jay Orringer, MD, a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), was part of a team of medical experts who cared for Ms. Jolie. The event where Orringer spoke was organized by the Physician’s Institute of Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery, Inc. & Memorial Cancer Institute in Hollywood.

“I commend Ms. Jolie’s courageous decision to share her personal story,” said Dr. Orringer. “It has helped to spark important conversations and expand the discussion on this significant women’s health issue.”

Celebrities including Brooke Burke-Charvet, host of “Dancing with the Stars”, and Alexia Echevarria of “Real Housewives of Miami” also joined plastic surgeons and health care advocates at the flagship events in Florida.

The BRA Day USA 2013 theme was the "team approach" to breast cancer care, emphasizing the need for all breast cancer care physicians and other health care providers to work together to provide the patient with an understanding of the various options and an individualized treatment plan. The team approach brings together a multidisciplinary group of medical professionals who work together from breast cancer diagnosis through recovery in an effort to optimize care for each patient.

Jonathan Weiser, MD, of Physician’s Institute said, “We recognize that each woman receives the most comprehensive care plan, specifically tailored to her needs, when all breast cancer care physicians work together as a team. Our hope is for full collaboration of all team members including plastic surgeons, oncologists, breast surgeons, radiologists, and OB/GYN’s giving women the most powerful team possible.”

Although health plans that offer breast cancer coverage are required to provide coverage for breast reconstruction and prostheses, the team approach is often underutilized. Many women, distraught by the news they have breast cancer, just focus on getting the cancer out of their body, but they give little thought to quality of life beyond cancer. ASPS hopes BRA Day will help make women aware they have options when it comes to breast reconstruction.

In an effort to make recovering from breast reconstruction easier for women, ASPS has created a Breast Reconstruction Planner that guides patients through the recovery process. The easy-to-access planning tool is available at no cost and offers tips from trained plastic surgeons. You can view or download the free guide here: BRAdayUSA.org/planner.

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