RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY: A CRITICAL PART OF EVERY SURVIVOR’S JOURNEY
For many individuals facing a cancer diagnosis, surgery plays a critical role in fighting the disease and effecting a lasting cure. Yet the physical and emotional repercussions of those surgical procedures may be as daunting as the disease itself. Women facing the removal of one or both breasts because of a mastectomy often feel hollow and incomplete, even resentful that they have sacrificed a vital part of their femininity. For individuals facing skin cancer, oral cancer, or other head and neck cancers, surgical removal of the cancer almost always involves physical disfiguration on highly visible areas of the face or head, and concerns about the long-term impact of the surgery on their appearance may be even more distressing than the disease itself. For individuals facing a physical disfigurement as a result of a cancer treatment, reconstructive surgery (also called secondary aesthetic surgery) offers HOPE, the possibility of a return to normalcy, and a chance at more than just a “cure”, but a truly complete recovery.
The Healing Curve, located in West Hollywood, California, believes that beating cancer should not mean losing a vital part of your body in the process. We believe that beating cancer should not involve the sacrifice of your appearance or your emotional well-being. Founded in 2008 by Dr. Gary Motykie—Board Certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon—The Healing Curve is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping cancer survivors obtain the financial help and support for reconstructive surgery they need to restore their bodies, rebuild their self-confidence, and achieve a lasting, complete recovery. Advances in medicine and surgical technologies enable even more individuals to live cancer-free, and those advances offer talented surgeons like Dr. Motykie the opportunity to help cancer survivors overcome physical disfigurement to ensure a shapely body, a beautiful face, and a healthy, happy outlook on life.
ARE YOU A CANDIDATE FOR RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY?
While all cancers are traumatic and often involve devastating alterations to the appearance during treatment, several forms of cancers require invasive surgical procedures that result in permanent, significantly disfiguring changes to the body or face.
- BREAST CANCER: According to the American Cancer Society, more than 90% of the approximately 260,000 women who were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 had some form of mastectomy, but only 20-40% of those women had breast reconstruction surgery. Improvements in surgical techniques have made nipple-conserving surgery more common and radical mastectomies involving removal of the underlying chest muscle rare, but most mastectomies still involve total removal of the breast tissue and adjacent lymph nodes, leaving survivors without visible breasts. Breast reconstructive surgery offers these women the opportunity to regain a feminine profile and shapely, beautiful physique.
- SKIN CANCER: The two most common forms of skin cancer are Basal cell carcinoma and Squamous cell carcinoma. Because both forms of cancer are caused by UV exposure, they commonly occur on visible, exposed areas of the body: the ear, lip, face, scalp, neck, hands, arms, and legs. While they are rarely fatal, they can be extremely disfiguring, especially if not treated promptly. The treatment protocol is usually Mohs micrographic surgery, which enables the surgeon to remove only the cancerous tissue while minimizing damage to healthy tissue adjacent to the growth. However, the surgery inevitably involves removing large amounts of tissue, and facial reconstruction may be required to rebuild features such as the nose, lip, or ear, and minimize the appearance of visible scarring.
- ORAL, HEAD, AND NECK CANCERS: Cancers of the head, neck, mouth, and upper throat have a much higher fatality rate because they are often diagnosed at a very late stage. Patients who do survive often suffer severe facial disfigurement or functional difficulties, eating, speaking, and communicating. In fact, some recent studies indicate that individuals facing this type of cancer diagnosis find the fear of disfigurement, impairment, and social rejection even more distressing than the possibility of death. Again, reconstructive surgery offers the opportunity t o regain self-esteem, improve quality of life, and remove the emotional impediment to full recovery.
THE HEALING CURVE CAN HELP!
The Heading Curve, in West Hollywood, California, 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!