Is it possible to undergo breast cancer treatment during the COVID-19 era


The COVID-19 pandemic had spread to over 200 nations, including the Philippines. Millions of Filipinos were afflicted by this highly infectious virus. It also led to the interruption of other services and sectors, including medical care, such as breast cancer treatment in the Philippines. Hospitals and clinics were overwhelmed with accommodating the increasing stream of infected individuals and providing them with the necessary emergency care to preserve their lives. This compelled local authorities to impose tight nationwide lockdowns and targeted quarantines to avert the rising number of cases.

From a global standpoint, it can be argued that breast reconstruction may not be a top priority for infected patients and the national healthcare system, as indicated by a recent study. However, the researchers noted that breast cancer care and other treatments, including breast reconstruction, must resume as soon as possible, as significant delays may lead to psychological consequences for these patients.

Now, considering the challenging circumstances that patients face during the COVID-19 era, what are the likely motivations that might drive them to pursue breast reconstruction?”

Factors That Would Encourage a Patient to Have Breast Reconstruction During This Pandemic

Regardless of the current scenario, breast reconstruction shouldn’t be compromised because it is a critical part of cancer care for breast cancer patients and survivors. It offers them an opportunity to move forward in their lives while reclaiming their physical appearance. Furthermore, it can boost their self-confidence as women.

Patients may continue to pursue their delayed breast reconstruction surgery during this COVID-19 era if hospitals provide ample equipment within medical facilities to keep them safe against the virus, ensure that all the necessary reconstructive materials are readily available, and have their surgeon available to conduct a more thorough physical examination of their body.

Medical Facilities and PPE for the Patient

A high-quality medical facility is one of the primary factors that encourage patients to continue their breast reconstruction. Patients are very concerned about the current situation of the hospital where they will undergo breast reconstruction. They feel safer and secure when the hospital and clinics are well-ventilated or do have air purifiers that help to eliminate any airborne bacteria or viruses. Some hospitals even supply Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to their surgeons and medical personnel to provide them with an extra layer of safety while they are on duty. 

Motiva®: Choosing the Right Breast Implants

One of the challenges during this COVID-19 era is the availability of breast implants. Most of the breast implants in the Philippines come from abroad, and the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the shipments of these implants to local hospitals and clinics.

Furthermore, choosing the right implants for breast reconstruction is essential for patients because they are responsible for the overall look of their breasts and must also provide a natural feel. It’s important to emphasize that not all breast implants are the same. Surgeons recommend bio-compatible breast implants to reduce the risk of rare breast implant-related complications.

Motiva® breast implants have gained popularity in the Philippines due to their quality and innovative features. Over the years, they have consistently helped women rebuild their natural breast size and shape while mimicking the natural movement of their breasts

Its innovative feature, SmoothSilk®/Silksurface®, is designed to maintain an even thickness throughout the implant shell. This is made possible through 3D-printing technology, avoiding the use of salt or sugaring methods, which are often associated with rare breast-related diseases.

One of the main concerns for most patients is the ability of the breast implant to withstand extreme pressure. The TrueMonobloc®, another safety feature of Motiva Implants®, enables the implant to withstand significant stress without tearing. This characteristic allows the surgeon to easily insert the implant through a small incision, typically 2.5cm to 3cm, which is smaller compared to the traditional incision size that requires about 5cm.

Some people might wonder how a surgeon determines if an implant is safe to use before the operation. Do they use advanced medical equipment for examination? Well, if that were the case, it would be time-consuming. Motiva® breast implants have introduced a brilliant solution with the development of BluSeal®. This safety feature allows the surgeon to visually inspect the implants for any damage or deformities, thanks to the bluish color surrounding the shell, signifying that the breast implants are free from any damage or deformities.

Furthermore, Motiva® features a specially designed silicone gel called ProgressiveGel® that prevents the unwanted rippling sensation. This gel enables women to move freely without being constrained by their breast implants, providing a natural feel similar to breast tissue.

Most importantly, patients in the Philippines are eligible for an Extended Warranty Program for any Motiva® breast implants. Patients have the option to extend the warranty for their implants by enrolling on Motiva’s website. The applicable fee must be paid by the patients within the first 90 days after the placement of the Motiva Implants®. The 2-year Extended Warranty Program is available for $100 USD, while the 5-year Extended Warranty Program costs only $200 USD.

Surgeons Availability

Doctors and reconstructive surgeons were advised to refrain from any physical consultation with their patients. This is a safety measure for them to protect themselves against the virus. However, this situation poses an additional hurdle for the patients, as they require a physical examination by their surgeon to receive informative medical advice that would assist them in their decision-making.

The modernization of technology has played a crucial role in our communication, especially during the height of the pandemic. Patients can now instantly connect with their surgeons and doctors and establish online consultations. There are challenges along the way, such as slow internet, but this is an effective way to communicate and instantly gain the needed information from the patient for their breast reconstruction. With that said, it is advisable to have an on-site consultation with your doctor to go over important aspects of your surgery, such as choosing the implants and safety guidelines.

Patient’s Overall Health

Breast reconstruction surgery can be performed either shortly after the mastectomy procedure (immediate reconstruction) or after the mastectomy incision has healed (delayed reconstruction). Patients should discuss all their options with their surgeon before making a decision. When determining whether a patient is a suitable candidate for immediate breast reconstruction, the surgeon carefully assesses the patient’s overall physical fitness. This assessment includes considering the patient’s weight, age, health history, medications, as well as alcohol and tobacco use, all of which play a role in determining whether the patient’s body can handle the surgery.

In addition, some patients may need to wait until they have fully recovered from their mastectomy before beginning the reconstruction treatment.

The process of waiting for surgery after a mastectomy can be challenging for some patients. For many, they must wait until they have fully recovered from their mastectomy treatment, and this waiting period can be trying as they hope for a full recovery.

It is crucial to remember that breast reconstruction is not a one-size-fits-all operation because every patient’s body is a unique size-fits-all operation. After all, a patient’s body is different from another patient’s body. 

Finally, patients should stay informed about the recent developments and announcements provided by medical organizations and authorities, as this information can assist them in making decisions about breast reconstruction during the COVID-19 era. Without this information, some patients may encounter challenges and even experience detrimental effects on their health.

As the entire nation progresses through the COVID-19 pandemic, Breast Surgery PH continues to collaborate and cooperate with licensed plastic surgeons nationwide. They can provide patients with a safe medical procedure that aligns with their expectations, using preferred breast implants such as Motiva® Breast Implants. BSPH looks forward to being a part of your exciting journey as you work towards achieving your dreams and goals.

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