Oncoplastic Breast Reconstruction at Atlanta Plastic Surgery, P.C.
Performed at our Atlanta, Alpharetta and Cumming, GA locations.
The field of oncoplastic surgery was coined by an article in the Wall Street Journal in 2008. An offshoot of breast reconstruction surgery, oncoplastic surgery is designed to remove cancerous cell growths and affected tissue within the breast while simultaneously refining the appearance of the remaining tissue so as to present the least amount of disruption physically, mentally, and emotionally following breast cancer.
Oncoplastic surgery is a unique blend of reconstructive surgery and cosmetic breast surgery designed to restore a more aesthetically pleasing appearance to the breast during cancer removal surgery. The cosmetic portion of oncoplastic surgery is often immediately performed following the removal of the cancer and affected breast tissue (lumpectomy or mastectomy). Depending upon the patient’s breast cancer progression, a small breast lift (mastopexy) may be used to restore breast symmetry.
Traditionally, breast reconstruction involves multiple surgeries (i.e. – placement of tissue expanders at the time of cancer removal which is later replaced with a saline or silicone breast implant for additional size correction). Oncoplastic procedures strive to minimize the amount of breast revision surgery necessary to reestablish a normalized appearance.
Why would someone choose Oncoplastic Surgery over a mastectomy?
In cases where the cancer is detected early and the boundaries are well-defined it may not be necessary to remove the entire breast. Instead, a lumpectomy, which only removes the affected tissue, may be enough. However, the direct incision required for a lumpectomy may be on an area of the breast where the scar would be too conspicuous, or the removal of the cancerous tissue may leave a sunken or depressed area on the breast. Using an oncoplastic approach, where the oncologic surgeon works closely with a plastic surgeon, the incisions are placed in less obvious locations and the breast tissue rearranged so that the natural aesthetic appearance of the breast is preserved.
How would I know if I were a candidate for Oncoplastic Surgery instead of mastectomy?
Every woman is unique and every journey to cancer recovery follows its own path, so oncoplastic surgery may not be the right choice for all patients. Although an oncoplastic approach does preserve more of the patient’s natural breast tissue, which often allows for a faster recovery, it also usually requires additional radiation therapy to ensure that the cancer does not return. Some women also enjoy greater peace of mind after a full mastectomy since they can be assured that all the cancerous tissue has been removed. Ultimately, a frank and honest discussion with your oncologist about the nature of your individual cancer diagnosis, your own personal health requirements, and your long-term goals is the only way to determine what treatment plan is right for you.
To learn more about the latest available breast reconstruction technology, please visit Atlanta Plastic Surgery’s Breast Surgery Symposium page and stay up-to-date with our regularly updated plastic surgery blog.