Semin Plast Surg 2004; 18(2): 139-147
DOI: 10.1055/s-2004-829048
Copyright © 2004 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc., 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001 USA.

Patient Education and Decision Making in Breast Reconstruction

Lior Heller1 , Michael J. Miller1
  • 1Department of Plastic Surgery, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
14 June 2004 (online)

A well-informed patient who actively participates in decision making is an essential ingredient of successful outcome in breast reconstruction. The plastic surgeon must be prepared to answer all the patient's questions in a clear and concise manner. All women considering breast reconstruction need to understand the rationale for reconstruction and have realistic expectations for what can be accomplished. They need to consider the optimal timing and the advantages and disadvantages of each technical option. The patient education process can be enhanced by the thoughtful inclusion of growing set of educational tools and decision aids. This article reviews each of these issues and suggests a way to organize and present the essential material in a way that has proven effective with women in our practice.


Michael J Miller, M.D. 

Department of Plastic Surgery, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

1515 Holcombe Blvd.

Houston, TX 77030