Dr. Eric Whitacre is a past-president of the American Society of Breast Surgeons. He is the developer of the quality reporting program used by ASBrS members. He asked me if our community would be interested in providing information for an upcoming talk at our annual meeting on long-term complications of breast cancer therapy, and my response was YES! Here is the request from Dr. Whitacre:
I have been asked to give a brief presentation at the upcoming meeting of the American Society of Breast Surgeons entitled “Chronic post operative complications” and I am seeking input from patients.
The nature of the traditional surgical training curriculum is to consider complications things we were taught to report at weekly “morbidity” conferences – things like bleeding after surgery or severe infections. With experience, surgeons learn about longer-term complications – chronic pain, lymphedema, and cosmetic issues for example – but these are “as seen” by the surgeons.
I would like to know more about long-term complications from breast surgery from the patient perspective. This would include anything from the topics listed above to other things such as problems with shared decision making (the “if I had only known” issue) to uncertainty about recommended long-term cancer follow up, such as explicit structured care or survivorship plans.
As the presentation is brief (10-12 minutes) I will not be able to present many details, but reminding the audience that the patient experience is paramount is one of my goals.
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Thank you all in advance for your input,
Eric Whitacre, MD