Double mastectomy: fact vs. fiction - FOX 35 News Orlando

Double mastectomy: fact vs. fiction

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Last June, Charlotte Wienckoske was diagnosed with breast cancer.

"It's just words that every woman is afraid to hear," said

The Central Florida mother had a double mastectomy. She then decided on reconstructive surgery.

"My number one fear was what were the options?" Wienckoske asked. "Were the implants going to be safe?"

Breast augmentation is still the most popular elective surgery for women. Melbourne board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Mauricio Castellon said Wienckoske entered his office with the same set of concerns of many others.

So how do you separate fact from fiction? Just read on.

"What a lot of women don't know is breast reconstruction is a great option for ladies," said Dr. Castellon. "And it's typically covered by your insurance."

First of all, Wienckoske worried about scars. She said her grandmother had breast cancer and a mastectomy.

"So what I remember growing up as a child, I remember seeing those horrific scars," said Wienckoske. "Not to be able to feel like a woman again. That was my fear: was it going to aesthetically look okay?"

We'll take you through some commonly thought ideas pertaining to breast augmentation, and what's fact versus fiction.

"Doctors can hide the scars."

"The issue with the scar is we place it in strategic places so that we are able to hide them," said Dr. Castellon. "A lot of times these scars are placed in the crease or around the areola so that scar does hide pretty well."

"There a link between breast augmentation and breast cancer?"

"That is a myth," said Dr. Castellon. "At the current time, it's important for patients to know that these are safe. There is no link to cancer. There is no link to autoimmune disease. Breast cancer is multi-factorial. One in six women ends up with this horrible disease."

"The implants last forever."

"I cannot emphasize enough these are safe, but they're not lifelong devices," said Dr. Castellon. "These things will wear just like the soles of your tennis shoes wear and you gotta replace them. Ten to 15 years you can count on replacing these devices."

Dr. Castellon told FOX35 breast augmentation has been around for 50 years. The first one that was developed was silicone.

"First implanted in patient in early 60s," said Dr. Castellon. "After 15 to 20 years, those patients started developing symptoms associated with some pain, some discomfort with these implants."

Castellon said doctors determined the devices started to wear down and fail after a period of time.

"These implants started to leak out through their shell and started to get into the breast tissue and into the lymph nodes and started causing some issues with inflammatory processes," said Dr. Castellon.

Dr. Castellon said the FDA took silicone implants off the market in the 80s, and saline implants came into play in the early 90s. Castellon said researchers worked on the implants, and developed safer ones for the public.

"You can't breastfeed with implants."

"Absolutely not," said Dr. Castellon. "These implants are safe. Plenty of ladies after having the surgery are able to have their families, and they do fine."

"Implants rupture easily. Activity like a massage will "pop" the implants?"

"No, that's not true," said Dr. Castellon. "These are pretty resilient things."

"Women with implants experience increased sexual satisfaction?"

"I think a lot of it is actually psychological," said Dr. Castellon. "I think that women want to kind of get back, get their sexy back if you will. Part of looking whole again is a rekindled love or romance with the one you love."

Of course any surgery comes with risks, but asking questions and going to a board certified surgeon will help keep you safe.

"I'm extremely happy," said Wienckoske. "I couldn't be more happy. It was very safe, very natural looking. To be honest, even after my surgery, I still felt like a woman. Still didn't have that feeling like my grandmother had to go through."

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