What is oncoplastic breast surgery and how does it help a breast cancer patient?

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What is oncoplastic breast surgery and how does it help a breast cancer patient?

Oncoplastic surgery combines the latest plastic surgery techniques with surgery for removal of breast cancer. When a breast tumor needs to be surgically excised there is a risk of distortion of the breast leading to poor cosmetic appearance. Women are often disappointed by this and this leads to poor body image issues and loss of confidence.  A trained surgeon can realign the remaining breast tissue to restore a natural appearance to the breast shape. The opposite breast may also be modified if required to create symmetry.

This is a good option for patients who are candidates for breast conservation therapy or lumpectomy, and are also candidates for breast reduction or mastopexy (breast lift).

Breast reconstruction is essential to restore both physical and emotional balance in a patient undergoing breast cancer surgery. It restores confidence, self esteem and helps her move on to lead a normal life.
Breast reconstruction does not compromise the outcomes of cancer. In other words, it will not lead to increased breast cancer recurrence. So, patients need not worry about getting this procedure done.

How is oncoplastic surgery performed?

At the time of your lumpectomy, the surgical oncologist will remove the tumor and the lymph nodes. The plastic surgeon will perform a bilateral breast reduction or lift, removing breast tissue from the cancerous breast as well as modifying the normal breast. The procedures generally involve an incision around the nipple and areola, a vertical incision from the nipple to the lower fold of the breast, and a horizontal incision in the fold of the breast.

What if the entire breast has to be removed ?

Sometimes, there is no scope for removing only the lump because of large size and multifocality of the cancer. Then the entire breast has to be reconstructed.  There are various options like DIEP flap, TRAM flap, LD flap, implants and expanders. The reconstructive surgeon will assess the patient’s body habitus and take an individual decision as to what is the best option.

Dr Karthik specializes  in breast surgery and oncoplastic techniques and is an ardent believer of breast reconstruction.

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95538 60804


Medicover Hospital, MVP, Visakhapatnam.

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(M.Ch and D.N.B Surgical Oncology) Surgical Oncologist, Minimally invasive (Robotic and Laparoscopic) Surgeon at Medicover Hospital, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh


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