Oncoplastic surgery combines the latest plastic surgery techniques with breast surgical oncology. When a large lumpectomy will likely leave the breast distorted, your surgeon can sculpt the remaining tissue to realign the nipple and areola and restore a natural appearance to the breast shape. Your surgeon will also modify the opposing breast to create symmetry. This is a good option for patients needing breast conservation therapy or a lumpectomy, and who may also be candidates for breast reduction or breast lift.
Breast Reconstruction Surgery
Some women are not good candidates for breast conserving surgery. These women include:
- Those with multiple tumors in the breast occupying several different sections
- Those who have had lumpectomy with radiation in the past
- Those who have had mantle radiation for treatment of other types of cancer as a child or young adult
- Those who refuse to have radiation after lumpectomy for personal reasons
A delayed breast reconstruction takes place after all of the recommended therapies to treat the cancer are completed. One benefit of waiting for reconstruction is that it allows enough time to make sure all of the cancer has been treated.
Some women choose to delay breast reconstruction because they aren't comfortable weighing all the options at once when they are struggling with a diagnosis of cancer. Others need time to come to terms with losing one or both of their breasts. Women who are overweight, or who smoke or have high blood pressure, may be advised to wait for reconstruction as well.
Here at Johns Hopkins, we specialize in complex breast reconstruction procedures like these, including revisions to other surgeries where complications have developed.
With staged breast reconstruction, your breast cancer treatment process takes longer to complete. During the time of temporary tissue expansion, your breasts do not look natural. In addition, small revision surgeries may be necessary on the opposing breast to create symmetry.
In staged breast reconstruction, your surgeon creates a natural pocket to place either a permanent implant or a tissue flap. The overall result is more symmetric, natural, and aesthetically pleasing. It allows women to complete radiation treatment while having a "placeholder" implanted. Staging the reconstruction also allows enough time to fully treat the cancer.
Many women, following cancer treatment, would like to recreate the feeling of having breasts. By delaying reconstruction you may not feel whole without your breast or breasts. The delay also extends the total time it takes to complete your breast cancer treatment process.
11 AnswersBreast reconstruction refers to surgical methods used to rebuild the breast after mastectomy (removal of the entire breast) or to restore a normal appearance of the breasts due to inherited differences. Breast reconstruction can be achieved through many different techniques, from the use of breast implants, to complex "flap" methods of transferring tissue (such as skin and fat from the abdomen or buttocks) to the breasts. This gives women the choice of technique that is appropriate to their bodies and varied lifestyles. The goals of reconstruction are to restore the normal shape, contour, and symmetry of the breasts, and it is a crucial part of a woman's physical and emotional care. All women are candidates for reconstruction and breast reconstruction surgery is covered by insurance as mandated by the 1998 Federal Breast Reconstruction Law.