Following breast cancer treatment, many women who have undergone mastectomies are either content, but some wish to find a solution to return shape to their breasts. Some women do so with the use of mastectomy bras, however, some women seek a more permanent solution in the form of oncoplastic surgery. Mr Maisam Fazel, an expert aesthetic and reconstructive surgeon, explains in detail the different options available.
What is oncoplastic surgery?
This is a newer approach to breast cancer surgery and involves combining the safe removal of cancerous breast tissue, whilst leaving the breasts in an aesthetically acceptable way. Whilst oncoplastic surgical techniques can be used at the same time as breast cancer surgery, they can also be applied down the line after the cancerous tissue has been removed.
Why do some women have oncoplastic surgery?
Some women who have undergone breast cancer treatment can be left with no breast tissue, or misshaped breasts, as a result of tumours being surgically removed. This can sometimes make women lose confidence or have a negative body image as a result. Oncoplastic surgery can restore shape to the breasts.
What are the different types of breast reconstruction?
Breast reconstruction is bespoke, and each case is different with different end requirements being present. Therefore, there are a range of techniques that can be used to reconstruct breasts after breast cancer surgery.
- This technique is best for reconstruction breasts that have had smaller tumours removed.
- The remaining breast tissue is reshaped after a lumpectomy to hide and disguise any imperfections.
- This technique is similar to breast reduction surgery, and can often suit women with larger breasts as the breasts are reduced in size and lifted.
- Instead of the all the breast tissue being removed (mastectomy), just the large tumours are removed.
- Any unaffected breast tissue can be adjusted to form more symmetrical breasts.
Local perforator flap volume replacement:
- This can be a good solution for women with smaller breasts and with tumours that are located in the outer and lower half of the breasts.
- Tissue is transplanted from the lateral chest wall to replace the volume lost through lumpectomy.
- Fat from one part of the body is transferred, by injection, into the breast area.
- This is a good alternative for women who do not want silicone breast implants but want to achieve a similar result and it is a good solution for post-lumpectomy patients.
- Sometimes this procedure needs to be repeated to achieve the ideal aesthetic outcome.
If you would like to find out more about breast reconstruction and oncoplastic surgery, make an appointment with a specialist.