Oncoplastic Breast Surgery
How Oncoplastic Surgery Works
The breast cancer surgery operation and plastic surgery operation are performed one after the other. Doing this has several benefits:
Oncoplastic surgery is most commonly performed in association with a lumpectomy. To begin, the surgeon will remove the tumor, a small amount of surrounding tissue, and possibly some of the nearby lymph nodes. Then the plastic surgeon will perform a bilateral breast reduction or lift to make the two breasts symmetrical.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Oncoplastic breast reduction allows large-breasted women to have the same breast tissue removed as they would with lumpectomy. In addition, the oncoplastic reduction is followed by radiation, just as the traditional lumpectomy would be. There is no compromise in cancer care. The benefit would be to reduce both breasts symmetrically to avoid difficulty with bra fitting and asymmetry that can occur with traditional lumpectomy.
A standard oncoplastic procedure may utilize local tissue to help rearrange the breast tissue to maintain the contour and shape of a breast and reduce potential for irregularities after radiation therapy. Many options exist for oncoplastic reconstruction. These will be discussed during your consultation. A huge benefit is that it is done at the same time as the lumpectomy.
Many studies have demonstrated that oncoplastic surgery in conjunction with a lumpectomy is an oncologically safe procedure that does not compromise cancer outcomes. In fact, there are some that believe it can improve outcomes since a larger amount of breast tissue can be safely removed.
Because breasts are often more symmetric and contoured, the cosmetic and functional outcomes are thought to be superior as compared to lumpectomy alone.
All of these procedures are done prior to radiation. It is well known that any reconstruction after radiation poses more difficulty and higher complications, thus we feel this is a great procedure for women considering lumpectomy.
The best candidates benefit from volume reduction and have symptoms of macromastia (heavy, large breasts). They may also have concerns of back pain, neck pain, shoulder grooving, or rashes under the breast.
Even women with smaller breasts are still potential candidates as the volume removed is customized and can be done simultaneously to the other breast leading to a lifted appearance. Also, oncoplastic reduction is possible in patients who have had prior breast surgery.