Oncoplastic surgery combines the latest plastic surgery techniques with breast surgical oncology. When a large lumpectomy is required that will leave the breast distorted, the remaining tissue is sculpted to realign the nipple and areola and restore a natural appearance to the breast shape. The opposite breast may also be modified if required to create symmetry.
This is a good option for patients who are candidates for breast conservation therapy or lumpectomy, and are also candidates for breast reduction or mastopexy (breast lift).
Breast reconstruction does not compromise the outcomes of cancer. In other words, it will not lead to increased breast cancer recurrence. So, patients need not worry about getting this procedure done.
How is oncoplastic surgery performed?
At the time of your lumpectomy, the surgical oncologist will remove the tumor and the lymph nodes. The plastic surgeon will perform a bilateral breast reduction or lift, removing breast tissue from the cancerous breast as well as modifying the normal breast. The procedures generally involve an incision around the nipple and areola, a vertical incision from the nipple to the lower fold of the breast, and a horizontal incision in the fold of the breast.
What if the entire breast has to be removed ?
Sometimes, there is no scope for removing only the lump because of large size and multifocality of the cancer. Then the entire breast has to be reconstructed. There are various options like DIEP flap, TRAM flap, LD flap, implants and expanders. The reconstructive surgeon will assess the patient’s body habitus and take an individual decision as to what is the best option.