Dr. Dixon on Informing a Patient Before Mastectomy

J. Michael Dixon, MD
Published: Friday, Apr 19, 2013

J. Michael Dixon, MBChB, MD, Professor of Surgery, Consultant Surgeon, University of Edinburgh, Clinical Director of the Edinburgh Breast Unit, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, Scotland, discusses the need for physicians to inform patients of the pros and cons before having a mastectomy.

Many patients, Dixon says, are unhappy with their breasts, want to improve them, and come into a physician's office with their mind made up. It is important to inform patients that reconstructive surgery is not just one operation, has a high complication rate, and is not simple.

Physicians and surgeons in general, Dixon says, are not good at writing down all the negative aspects of a mastectomy for a patient. Dixon says that it is crucial for physicians to bear in mind that if they cannot do any good, they must not do anything to harm a patient.
 
J. Michael Dixon, MBChB, MD, Professor of Surgery, Consultant Surgeon, University of Edinburgh, Clinical Director of the Edinburgh Breast Unit, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, Scotland, discusses the need for physicians to inform patients of the pros and cons before having a mastectomy.

Many patients, Dixon says, are unhappy with their breasts, want to improve them, and come into a physician's office with their mind made up. It is important to inform patients that reconstructive surgery is not just one operation, has a high complication rate, and is not simple.

Physicians and surgeons in general, Dixon says, are not good at writing down all the negative aspects of a mastectomy for a patient. Dixon says that it is crucial for physicians to bear in mind that if they cannot do any good, they must not do anything to harm a patient.
 

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