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Topic: Research

BRA Day 2016

October is always an important month for me, as it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) and Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day here in Vancouver falls on October 19th. Meeting and working with breast cancer survivors to guide them through breast reconstruction is a rewarding aspect of my job, and for the past few years I’ve been involved in organizing and hosting Vancouver’s BRA Day to raise awareness around breast reconstruction procedures.


BRA Day is a program put on by the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. BRA Day was founded to support education, awareness and access for women considering post-mastectomy breast reconstruction.

This year, I hosted the 6th annual BRA day at the VGH Paetzhold Pavillion. I was thrilled with the turnout and sense of community. As with past years, we had a Show and Tell safe space where breast cancer survivors revealed their reconstructed breasts and plastic surgeons like myself answered questions. BRA Day allows breast cancer survivors to gain information on the surgical options and talk to women who have gone through the same experience.


This week I filmed a segment for Global with Amanda McNally from the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF) . The segment discussed breast reconstruction techniques and resources for women in B.C. It was a pleasure to speak with Sophie Lui from Global and continue the BRA Day conversation. You can view the full segment on Global.


Amanda McNally, myself, and Sophie Lui in the Global studio

I also recently sat down with the Globe and Mail to discuss the issues with wait times for breast reconstruction in Canada. Currently, breast cancer survivors seeking breast reconstruction in Canada can wait anywhere from one to five years for their operations. Women at high risk for breast cancer seeking prophylactic surgery with mastectomy and reconstruction can wait 1 to 2 years, which can actually lead to these same women to get breast cancer while waiting for the surgery. These waiting times are an issue that must be addressed with dedicated operative time and more surgeons.

I look forward to continuing to work with breast cancer survivors and engaging in the dialogue around breast reconstruction options. You can visit the official BRA Day website for more information on the initiative and how to get involved by donating or volunteering.


What you need to know when you are considering cosmetic surgery

contemplative_womanCosmetic surgery is more in-demand than ever before and procedures have improved dramatically in terms of quality and results. This article will help you in making informed decisionsabout your body and health as you consider a cosmetic surgical procedure. Below you will find a checklist of important considerations when looking for a surgeon as well as information on available procedures. The links in this article lead to other areas of this website where you can learn more about each operation.



Choosing a potential surgeon


There are three main areas to understand when looking at possible surgeons for a cosmetic procedure – qualifications and procedure specific experience, potential risks and complications, and after-care expectations.

You can learn a lot about a doctor’s experience just by looking at the qualifications listed on their title. Although all practicing physicians will have an MD (Doctor of Medicine), a surgeon will go on to specialize in their field and can earn additional accreditation such as the Fellows of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (FRCSC). This is the national standard for specialist medical expertise and confirms the Fellow is committed to specific standards and lifelong learning. You can find out specific information about a surgeon by reviewing their resume and published articles in the medical community.

Beyond this there are a series of online review sites that are specifically tailored toward the medical field where you can get an understanding of a surgeons’ approach. Sites such as Rate MDs and Real Self offer a range of information and patient testimonials. If you want to find out about a doctor’s procedure specific experience, don’t be afraid to simply ask them!

Another concern on most patients’ minds are the potential risks associated with surgery. Below you will find a range of available procedures with links to further information and associated risks or complications.  Take the time to review these areas so you can come to your consultation armed with any questions you need to feel at ease when making your decision.

Sometimes offices have unique services like the Vectra 3D imaging system, which captures face, breast, and body images in ultra-high resolution 3D, and lets patients visualize the possibilities of their aesthetic procedures. Dr. Macadam’s office is equipped with the only Vectra 3D machine of its kind in our area, and allows patients to see possible outcomes in their own image as part of the consultation process.

Lastly, make sure to speak with your doctor about after-care. They will be able to explain the facilities within which the procedures will take place, the time you can spend in the hospital post-operation and how to ensure your healing progresses as planned.

Available procedures


1. Breast Augmentation & Lifts

If you are unhappy with your breasts, you may be considering augmentation. Often, a breast lift (or mastopexy) is performed at the same time for reasons associated with aging, weight loss or post-pregnancy changes. Augmentation can be performed in two ways, either through implants or fat grafting, involving the removal of fat from one area and injection in to the breast.

2. Breast Reduction

This procedure is usually selected for those wishing to alleviate back and neck pain or difficulties in exercising due to the size of your breasts.

3. Tummy Tuck

An abdominoplasty is an option for women that have extra tissue on the lower abdomen that is resistant to exercise and diet. Taking approximately 3-4 hours, this procedure removes excess fatty tissue and tightens the abdomen muscles for a narrower waist and flatter profile.

4. Liposuction

For patients that have stubborn fat they are unable to reduce through diet and exercise alone, liposuction is an option that can be performed on the neck, abdomen, hips, thighs, knees, sides or upper back.

5. Permanent Makeup

From eyeliner and eyebrows to lip colour and symmetry, permanent makeup is ideal for people with fair features, people who are allergic to makeup or people looking to save time. These procedures are fast, simple and done with very limited discomfort.

If you are interested in finding out more you can book a consultation with Dr. Sheina Macadam to discuss your options and address any concerns you may have. Get in touch with our office here.