What is oncoplastic breast surgery?

Oncoplastic breast surgery is a new surgical option for those undergoing treatment for breast cancer. This procedure combines the removal of a cancerous breast tumor with breast reduction, typically performed as a cosmetic procedure. Oncoplastic breast surgery has been lauded for offering an improved aesthetic outcome for women who have both breast cancer and overly large breasts.

Designed for women with large breasts

Oncoplastic breast surgery is specifically designed for women whose large breasts cause them back and neck pain. Such women are typically good candidates for breast reduction surgery. Oncoplasty combines this procedure with a mastectomy or lumpectomy for the treatment of breast cancer. With traditional mastectomies, the breasts may be left significantly deformed due to the removal of breast tissue. With oncoplastic surgery, the reduction and reshaping of breast tissue following the tumor removal uses plastic surgery techniques aimed at providing optimum aesthetic results.

Although oncoplastic breast surgery can result in a significant decrease in the overall size of the breasts, and often this may be preferred by patients who undergo this type of breast surgery, in other cases the remaining tissue is used to 'fill in' the volume lost when the tumor is removed. The result is breasts that look and feel more natural following the lumpectomy.

This procedure typically requires three to four hours, and involves two surgical teams, one of oncologists and one of plastic surgeons. After cancerous tissue is removed, the breasts are then reduced in size. The end goal of this procedure is breasts that are even in size. Ideally, this result will look no different than breasts reduced for strictly aesthetic reasons. The prognosis for those who undergo oncoplastic surgery is similar to those who undergo traditional surgical treatments for breast cancer.

Reduces complications of radiotherapys

In addition to providing superior cosmetic results, oncoplastic surgery also holds another benefit over traditional breast cancer surgery for women with large breasts. The radiation therapy used to treat breast cancer is more difficult for women with large breasts. Removing excess breast tissue through oncoplastic surgery reduces the complications of radiation therapy in these women.

This emerging surgical technique allows breast cancer patients to minimize the number of times they must go under the knife. By removing the tumor and cosmetically repairing the breast in a single procedure, oncoplastic breast surgery can help to ease women's physical and psychological recovery.


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