Oncoplastic Breast Reconstruction is performed in conjunction with a breast surgeon immediately after the lumpectomy procedure is completed, under the same general anesthetic. The lumpectomy tissue is removed in a way that allows the plastic surgeon to perform a simultaneous breast reduction and/or lift. This avoids or minimizes cosmetic deformity while simultaneously enabling the plastic surgeon to create the most aesthetically pleasing results. Learn more about oncoplastic breast surgery here.
Some patients will be left with a significant breast deformity following breast conservation therapy (lumpectomy and radiation). In many cases, completion mastectomy with immediate breast reconstruction can provide a much better cosmetic result and improved breast symmetry. For many women, removing the remaining breast tissue and avoiding the need for continued screening are added benefits of this approach. Learn more about completion mastectomy here.
One common concern for breast cancer patients is how the other breast will look compared to the lumpectomy breast, and whether their final breast symmetry will be normal. Legislation passed in 1998 by President Clinton mandates that health insurance companies provide coverage for symmetry procedures following breast cancer surgery. This means that if a person has a lumpectomy on one side, insurance companies must cover the cost of surgery on the other breast if it is needed for the best symmetry. Learn more about breast symmetry surgery here.
Fat grafting has become a widely used technique in breast surgery and is the most commonly used technique to address deformity caused by a lumpectomy. Fat is liposuctioned from one part of the patient's body, purified and then injected into the breast to "fill in" the contour defect created by the lumpectomy.
There are several fat grafting techniques that are used by plastic surgeons. There is no "set way" that has been shown to be the best in terms of long-term results. However, studies have shown that regardless of the technique used, the collection and transplantation of the fat cells must be optimized to obtain the best long-lasting results. Learn more about fat grafting here.