BAPRAS Urges the Restart Breast Reconstructions for Cancer Patients

14th October 2021


Breast reconstruction was stopped at the height of the COVID pandemic, leaving women who had mastectomies battling high levels of anxiety and low self-esteem. An expert in breast reconstruction and member of BAPRAS, Dhalia Masud, fought and won a battle to change the priority in her hospital – even publishing their successful roadmap in the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery. Yet many Trusts have yet to restart the procedures because of the complex nature of the NHS approval process, and an inherent dismissal of the surgery being purely aesthetic.

With a recent report showing a rise in cases of breast cancer in younger women and with this cohort most likely to request a reconstruction and be more susceptible to mental health issues, a catastrophe is almost inevitable.

Dhalia Masud is Breast Reconstruction Lead at The Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. Despite resistance, she managed to re-categorise the procedure and published in JPRAS a model that can be followed by other hospitals. She says;

“A reconstruction is an integral part of cancer treatment and shouldn’t be viewed as a separate entity or a cosmetic surgery. To delay this part of a patient’s treatment indefinitely has a huge psychological impact on the patient and a financial impact to the NHS — we’re now looking at two separate hospital admissions and two recovery periods. We have shown that this essential surgery can be restarted and managed. Until the mentality towards breast reconstruction changes, both within society and the NHS, women will continue to be ignored."

Read the full press release produced in collaboration with The Confederation of British Surgery. 


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