Oncoplastic surgery is an approach that combines breast surgical oncology with the latest plastic surgery techniques. It is a good option for patients who need a breast reduction or breast lift (mastopexy) or breast conservation surgery or lumpectomy.
When a patient undergoes a large lumpectomy, they end up with a distorted breast. The remaining tissue will need to be sculpted to align areola with the nipple to restore the natural shape and appearance of the breast and make it symmetrical with the other breast.
How It Works
Oncoplastic surgery takes place alongside a lumpectomy. After completing a lumpectomy, the surgeon will carry out a bilateral breast lift or reduction to make the breasts symmetrical. The two operations occur one after another.
The two operations are performed concurrently in one surgical session. A more considerable amount of tissue will be removed, which is helpful if the tumors are large. It’ll be easy to produce symmetrical breasts during this time, and patients will be able to avoid exposing their wounds to radiation.
Types of Oncoplastic Surgery
Many oncoplastic techniques can be used depending on the health and body of the patient, characteristics of their tumor, and the patient’s desired outcome. Some of the commonly used oncoplastic techniques include;
- Local advancement flap– This is where the remaining tissue after traditional lumpectomy is used to reconstruct the natural appearance of the breast. Local advancement flap ensures that no defects or additional indentations are left
- Bilateral breast reduction– A bilateral breast reduction is a procedure that helps to alter the size and shape of the second breast after a lumpectomy has been performed. By operating on the second breast, a large amount of tissue is chucked out, which helps in cases where the tumor is large and more tissue is needed. Modifying the other breast creates symmetry between the two breasts
- Mastopexy (Bilateral breast lift)– This is a minimal approach to bilateral breast reduction for women who don’t want to reduce the natural shape of their breasts. Instead of removing a large amount of tissue from both breasts, only the tissue from the primary excision will be removed with a comparable amount from the other breast. An additional aesthetic procedure, like nipple relocation, will be carried out to make the two breasts symmetrical
- Skin sparing mastectomy– This is a procedure performed after a mastectomy to conserve the look of the patient’s breast. The breast skin and that of the areola and nipple will be removed. The breast tissue will be removed through the same incision, and the surgeon will continue to reconstruct the breast using the removed nipple, skin, and areola
Oncoplastic techniques can be used in various breast types. But women with small breasts and those who have undergone several lumpectomies, may not qualify for oncoplastic surgery.