Summa Health plastic and reconstructive surgeons are part of the Summa Health Breast Multidisciplinary Clinic (MDC), made up of cancer experts who design coordinated, comprehensive and personalized plans of care using nationally recognized best practice guidelines. Patients who have had surgery as part of their breast cancer treatment may choose oncoplastic and breast reconstructive surgery to rebuild the shape and look of the breast. In some cases, a combination of oncoplastic and breast reconstructive techniques may be required.
Oncoplastic surgery uses an aesthetic approach to breast cancer treatment by removing the cancer while preserving and rebuilding the breast to maintain its natural look and feel.
A Summa Health reconstructive plastic surgeon and a surgical oncologist collaborate to remove the cancer while preserving as much breast tissue and skin as possible. Reconstructive techniques are then used to reshape and rebuild the breast.
Oncoplastic reconstruction techniques include:
In addition to removing cancer, oncoplastic surgery prevents excessive scarring and deformities. The opposite breast is also modified to create symmetry.
Breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure used to recreate a breast’s shape and contour after a mastectomy or lumpectomy. With the goal to provide symmetry and a natural-appearing breast, surgeons may recreate a breast during or after a mastectomy, as well as correct breast scarring and deformities that result after breast conservation surgery.
A variety of breast reconstruction techniques are available, all of which fall into two basic categories:
Breast implants are an option for reconstructing the shape of your breast after surgery to remove the cancer. Implants are made of a flexible silicone outer shell, can contain saline or silicone gel, and are available in different shapes and sizes.
This type of breast reconstruction can be done at the same time as the cancer surgery (immediate reconstruction) or later (delayed reconstruction).
Summa Health reconstructive surgeons also use microvascular surgery and a patient's own body tissue (autologous), to reconstruct a breast. Known as a free flap procedure, it takes tissue from one part of your body, most often the abdomen, and relocates it to rebuild the breast shape. Tissue from your back or – less commonly – your buttocks may also be used.
Tissue flaps generally look more natural and behave more like natural breast tissue than breast implants. However, flaps require more surgery and a longer recovery than breast implant procedures.
If you are considering oncoplastic and/or breast reconstructive surgery, discuss your options – including the risks and benefits – with your doctor. It’s important to understand the impact that removal and reconstruction of the breasts may have on your overall health.