The benefits to the "team approach" behind breast reconstruction - New York News

The benefits to the "team approach" behind breast reconstruction

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(WJBK) -

It was a story that captivated the world: Rather than live with a high risk of developing breast cancer Angelina Jolie decided to have both breasts removed. Now, for the first time, the plastic surgeon who performed her reconstructive surgeries shares his advice.

As a top plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills Dr. Jay Orringer has had many stars put their health in his hands. Dr. Orringer says the fact that Jolie shared her story with the world was extraordinary - but the way she was cared for shouldn't be. Jolie chose a team of experts who outlined her every option, and now he's urging all women to do the same.

"The team approach is extremely essential for the entire process of healing and moving on with a good quality life," Dr. Orringer says.   

A team that includes not only doctors and specialists to treat the disease, but plastic surgeons to focus on life after cancer. To get that message out, Dr. Orringer is teaming up with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. He hopes this will help reach more patients like Lisa Milenkovic, who had her breasts removed before talking to a reconstructive surgeon.

"I think I was still so overwhelmed with the diagnosis, so I don't know if maybe, emotionally, I was even ready to deal with that," Milenkovic explains.

But experts say from the moment of diagnosis, the team approach is crucial - and it's not just for celebrities. Increasingly, at places like memorial hospital in Hollywood, Fla. teams meet about every case and plastic surgeons offer advice from the beginning.

"The result may have been better if they had started the process at the time of the initial diagnosis, and the time of the mastectomy.  And they may have been able to undergo fewer procedures," WHO explains.

It's something Angelina Jolie understood - and her doctor wants to make sure others do, too.

This story coincides with the second annual Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day. The goal of the day is to lead a national push to make the team approach the standard when it comes to dealing with breast cancer.

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