Title: The Breast Reconstruction Guidebook. Third edition
Author: Kathy Steligo
Publisher: John Hopkins University Press
Reviewer: Jane Brown, patient safety advisor, Worcestershire Acute NHS Trust
What was it like?
This book details each step from decision making, choosing a consultant to the stages of pre and post breast reconstruction. For someone taking the steps to have a mastectomy due to cancer or for prophylactic purposes this guides the reader through the whole process.
What were the highlights?
The reader can gain all their information from one source by reading this invaluable guidebook. The reader does not need to trawl through various websites. It is all here. If there was ever good news in a patient facing mastectomy it is here as this a fantastic guide for the patient. It is written in a way that the reader feels at ease and the book is not overly complicated. If I were going through this, I would have this book with me at all times, it can answer questions that the reader needs answers to quickly. The photographs are of real people so it does not give a stilted view on issues.
It is comforting within the closing thoughts section of the book that breast reconstruction continues to progress along with research and continues to give the reader reassurance.
The author is honest in her approach, which makes this a balanced read.
Strengths & weaknesses:
This is a bible for all patients facing mastectomy and breast reconstruction. This is well written and up to date. There is even a section to give information to friends and family to guide them and enable them to have a greater understanding and equip them to support the person through this daunting journey.
The author herself had breast cancer in 2001, and the frustration of limited information lead her to write this book, which is now in its third edition. This is person that knows and understands what the reader needs.
This is written for the US as it has been used at the Texas Center for Breast Reconstruction for many years. This is equally relevant to the UK patient and healthcare team also.
Who should read it?
This book is a must for a patient taking the steps to have a mastectomy due to cancer or for prophylactic purposes. It is also relevant to all healthcare staff who are caring for the patient through this journey and their families and loved ones.