WHY SECONDARY AESTHETIC SURGERY IS A CRITICAL PART OF THE RECOVERY PROCESS
Recent advances in treatment protocols and surgical techniques are enabling more and more people to survive catastrophic illnesses like cancer and traumatic events such as fires and motor vehicle accidents. Yet the medical community, society at large, and particularly insurance companies have been much slower to recognize the psychological and emotional trauma that lingers, especially for survivors whose physical shape and visible appearance have been dramatically altered by their experience. However, studies are beginning to show that even after their medical condition has been treated, many cancer survivors and trauma victims continue to suffer from a variety of psychological and emotional problems, including:
- Depression: What may start out as lingering sadness, grief over loss of “normalcy”, and anger can easily turn into serious depression and anxiety for survivors, placing them at greater risk of suicide and substance abuse and undermining treatment and recovery protocols.
- Stress: Simply trying to cope with normal, everyday activities can be overwhelmingly stressful for someone attempting to recover from a disease or traumatic event, undermining their attempts to integrate back into the routines of daily life such as caring for family members and holding down a job.
- Self-consciousness: Victims of illness or trauma, especially those left with a physical deformity, must often cope with visible negative reactions from strangers and family alike, including staring, unsolicited personal questions, obvious avoidance, teasing/bullying, and even manifestations of pity. While many of these reactions stem from lack of knowledge and a sense of uncertainly about how to act, rather than ill-intent, constantly coping with these reactions causes increased levels of self-consciousness, poor self-esteem, and problems integrating back into society.
- Social problems: Unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly clear that individuals who have visible disfiguration due to trauma or illness will continue to suffer from a variety of social problems, including unemployment, lower education levels, and poor social support, significantly undermining their overall quality of life.
While the focus on curing disease and saving the lives of trauma victims is laudable and must continue, it is simply no longer enough when so many survivors continue to suffer from these debilitating and harmful psychological issues that prevent them from achieving a complete recovery.
At The Healing Curve, we believe it is time to move beyond “the cure” and “saving lives” to enabling full and complete recovery for survivors of illness and trauma. The good news is that the medical and surgical technology is available to correct or ameliorate many of the physical deformities that are preventing survivors from achieving full recovery and return to normalcy. The bad news is that these medical and surgical techniques are expensive, require the services of extremely skilled cosmetic and reconstructive surgeons, and are simply out of reach for too many people. While insurance providers may cover the most basic level of reconstruction for survivors with insurance coverage, many insurance companies define the required secondary aesthetic surgeries as “cosmetic” and therefore do not cover them. Thus, most people, even those with “good” health insurance and especially for those already piled under medical bills or without insurance at all, find the surgeries they need for full recovery simply too expensive and inaccessible.
The Healing Curve hopes to change that. Our mission is to make secondary aesthetic surgery a possibility for all who need it, including cancer survivors, victims of fire or traumatic injury, and individuals who have been deformed by a congenital birth defect or “botched” prior surgery. We aim to provide financial assistance to individuals who cannot otherwise afford the reconstructive surgery they need to return their appearance as close as possible to what it was before their illness, surgery, or traumatic event. In addition, we believe it is critical to ensure that these individuals have access to the highest possible level of skilled care during the reconstructive process, including the services of a highly trained, experienced plastic surgeon such as Board Certified plastic surgeon Dr. Gary Motykie. By offering survivors the means to correct or ameliorate their physical deformity, we can help them take the first steps to overcoming the emotional difficulties inherent in being a survivor, and put them on the path to a truly complete recovery.
THE HEALING CURVE CAN HELP!
The Heading Curve, located in West Hollywood, is committed to helping individuals who have suffered a disfiguring life event get access to the state-of-the-art surgical techniques they need for a complete recovery. The Healing Curve is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing funding and support to individuals who do not have the financial means to undergo reconstructive surgery. The Healing Curve’s founder—Board Certified plastic surgeon Dr. Gary Motykie—has extensive experience helping people obtain the medical and aesthetic assistance they need, including researching the development of prosthetic limbs and studying at one of the nation’s premier burn and reconstructive hospitals. Focused originally on working with breast cancer survivors, The Healing Curve now seeks to offer cutting-edge reconstructive technologies to all who need it, ensuring that cancer survivors as well as victims of trauma erase the unwelcome physical reminders of the past and accentuate their natural beauty.
If you or someone you know has a physical deformity due to a birth defect, illness, traumatic event, or previous surgical experience, but cannot afford the reconstructive surgery required for complete physical and emotional recovery, contact us today to find out how The Healing Curve can help. We look forward to speaking with you today!