What is oncoplastic breast reconstruction?
Oncoplastic breast surgery is a relatively new surgical option for patients undergoing treatment for breast cancer. There is some confusion about the difference between oncoplastic and reconstructive surgery of the breast. Depending on the scope of a physicians practice, some choose to separate the two and others choose to categorize them together.
What is the difference between oncoplastic breast reconstruction and traditional reconstruction?
Traditional breast reconstructive surgery refers to reconstruction of the breast after mastectomy, or breast removal surgery. It can be performed by a plastic surgeon either immediately, at the time of mastectomy, or years after mastectomy. It refers to reconstruction after the breast has been removed completely.
Oncoplastic surgery refers to reconstruction of the breast after lumpectomy, when only part of the breast had been removed. It commonly uses similar or the same techniques as reconstructive surgery after mastectomy. This is where the confusion between the two occurs. Oncoplastic surgery combines the removal of breast cancer as part of lumpetomy as well as immediate reconstruction.
The following reconstructive methods are performed on patients at the time of lumpectomy, including the breast being treated, as well as the opposite breast.
Local and Distant Flaps as well as other procedures.
Oncoplastic breast surgery has been designed for improved aesthetic outcome for women undergoing lumpectomy.
Patients are not commonly informed about reconstructive options prior to lumpectomy. After the lumpectomy has been performed, most patients undergo radiation treatments. Radiation, however, prevents the success of oncoplastic reconstruction procedures due to the damage radiation causes to the tissues. This option then becomes unavailable to the patient. For example, breast re-arrangement surgery, fat grafting and some implants cannot be performed after radiation.
General breast surgeons usually choose to remove less tissue to avoid breast deformity which lends to difficulty achieving clear margins. They elect to send patients for radiation treatments ,which in turn causes more of a deformity in the final appearance of the breast once treatment is complete. At this point, the only remaining option for reconstruction is a flap procedure
If the surgeon is able to remove more breast tissue around the tumor and avoid radiation by using immediate breast re-arrangement and fat grafting or implants, a much better cosmetic result is possible.
Dr. Boris Volshteyn recommends evaluation by a trained plastic surgeon prior to beginning a lumpectomy process to ensure that use of oncoplastic surgical techniques are warranted.
Call us today to find out if you are a candidate for oncoplastic breast reconstruction or to schedule your consultation with Dr. Boris Volshteyn, our board certified plastic surgeon 732-641-3350