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Reconstructive options after partial mastectomy

Posted on: August 10, 2023

Partial mastectomy is a surgical procedure to remove breast cancer. It can be used as a primary treatment for early-stage breast cancer, or it may be done after other treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Oncoplastic surgery is a type of reconstructive surgery that combines oncological (cancer) and plastic (reconstructive) techniques to achieve optimal outcomes for breast cancer patients. Delayed reconstructive options are available for those who want to wait before undergoing reconstruction after mastectomy.

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the different types of partial mastectomies, oncoplastic surgery, and delayed reconstructive options available to individuals with breast cancer, along with questions to ask your surgeon before making any decisions about your treatment plan. We will also provide information about the risks and benefits associated with each option so that you can make an informed decision about which procedure is best for you.

What is Partial Mastectomy?

Partial mastectomy, also known as lumpectomy or breast-conserving surgery, is a surgical procedure to remove cancerous tumors from the breast. It is typically used in combination with radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy to treat early stage breast cancer. During the procedure, the surgeon removes the tumor and a small amount of surrounding tissue. The goal of this surgery is to preserve as much of the healthy breast tissue as possible while still removing all of the cancer cells.

Types of Partial Mastectomies

There are two types of partial mastectomies: wide local excision (WLE) and quadrantectomy. WLE involves removing just the tumor and a small margin of normal tissue around it. Quadrantectomy removes an entire quadrant (one fourth) of the breast, including the tumor and some normal tissue surrounding it.

Benefits of Partial Mastectomy

  • Partial mastectomy offers some advantages over more radical treatments such as mastectomy (complete removal of the breast). These include:
  • Preservation of most or all of the natural shape and appearance of the breast
  • Reduced risk for complications associated with more extensive surgeries
  • Reduced risk for lymphedema (swelling caused by accumulation of lymph fluid in tissues)
  • Faster recovery time compared to more radical surgeries
  • Lower risk for long-term side effects such as scarring, pain, numbness, and fatigue.

Partial mastectomy is a surgical procedure used to remove cancerous tumors from the breast while preserving as much healthy tissue as possible. Two types of partial mastectomy, benefits include preservation of natural shape & appearance, reduced risk for complications and lymphedema, faster recovery time, lower risk for long-term side effects.

Oncoplastic Surgery

Oncoplastic surgery is a combination of cancer surgery and plastic surgery techniques, designed to remove cancerous tissue while preserving the aesthetic appearance of the affected area. It is most commonly used for partial mastectomies, where only part of the breast needs to be removed. Oncoplastic surgery can also be used for other types of cancer removal such as lumpectomies and skin cancers.

The procedure typically begins with a biopsy to confirm that there is cancer present in the area. Once this has been confirmed, the oncoplastic surgeon will proceed with removing the cancerous tissue while preserving as much of the healthy tissue as possible. The goal is to minimize scarring and preserve as much of the natural shape and appearance of the affected area as possible. This may involve techniques such as reshaping or reconstructing surrounding tissues or using special surgical instruments to reduce scarring.

After the cancerous tissue has been removed, reconstruction may begin immediately or delayed until after radiation therapy or chemotherapy treatments have been completed. Immediate reconstruction involves placing an implant or using fat grafts to fill in any remaining gaps in the affected area. Delayed reconstruction usually involves flap reconstruction, which uses skin and muscle from another part of the body to reconstruct the affected area.

Oncoplastic surgery offers many advantages over traditional methods of removing cancerous tissue, including improved aesthetics, shorter recovery times, less scarring, fewer complications, and improved quality of life for patients who undergo it. However, it is important for patients considering oncoplastic surgery to discuss all their options with their doctor before making a decision about treatment.

Questions that patients should ask their surgeon include: what type of results can I expect? How long will my recovery time be? Is my health insurance likely to cover this procedure? What are potential risks associated with oncoplastic surgery? Are there other treatment options available?

Oncoplastic surgery is an effective way to remove cancer while preserving aesthetic outcomes for many types of cancers. Patients should talk to their doctors about all their options before deciding which treatment plan is right for them.

Procedure
Advantages
Questions to Ask Surgeon
Oncoplastic Surgery
Improved aesthetics, shorter recovery times, less scarring, fewer complications, improved quality of life
What type of results can I expect? How long will my recovery time be? Is my health insurance likely to cover this procedure? What are potential risks associated with oncoplastic surgery? Are there other treatment options available?

Delayed Reconstructive Options

Delayed reconstructive options are typically considered when a patient does not want to have reconstructive surgery at the time of their partial mastectomy. This is an option for those who would rather wait and make sure that they are healthy enough to undergo the procedure, or just prefer to wait for personal reasons. There are several different delayed reconstructive options available, depending on the individual’s needs and preferences.

Implants

The most common type of delayed reconstruction is implants. Implants can be used to restore the lost volume after a partial mastectomy. The implant can be placed either directly under the skin or behind the chest muscle, depending on the individual’s preference and body type. The implant will need to be replaced every few years due to wear and tear, but it is a relatively simple procedure that can be done in an outpatient setting.

Tissue Expansion

Tissue expansion is another option for delayed reconstruction after a partial mastectomy. This involves placing a balloon-like device under the skin and gradually filling it with saline over time. As the balloon expands, it stretches out the skin, allowing more space for an implant or flap reconstruction later on. The process usually takes several months and requires multiple visits to the doctor in order to monitor progress.

Flap Reconstruction

Flap reconstruction is another option for delayed reconstruction after a partial mastectomy. In this procedure, tissue from another part of the body (such as the abdomen or back) is used to create a new breast mound. This type of reconstruction has many advantages, including improved symmetry and natural-looking results, but it does require more recovery time than other types of reconstructions.

Fat Grafting

Fat grafting is also an option for delayed reconstruction after a partial mastectomy. In this procedure, fat from elsewhere in the body (such as the abdomen or thighs) is removed via liposuction and then injected into areas where additional volume is desired in order to create a more natural shape and contour of the breasts. Fat grafting can provide long-lasting results with minimal downtime, but multiple treatments may be needed in order to achieve optimal results.

Overall, there are several different delayed reconstructive options available after a partial mastectomy depending on individual needs and preferences. It’s important to discuss all your options with your doctor so you can make an informed decision about which one is best for you.

Different delayed reconstructive options are available after a partial mastectomy, such as implants, tissue expansion, flap reconstruction and fat grafting. Implants need to be replaced every few years; Tissue expansion takes several months; Flap reconstruction provides improved symmetry and natural-looking results; Fat grafting can provide long-lasting results with minimal downtime.

Questions to Ask Your Surgeon

When considering a partial mastectomy, it is important to have an open dialogue with your surgeon. Asking questions can help you make informed decisions about your care and ensure that you are comfortable with the procedure. Here are some questions to consider asking:

Before Surgery

  • What type of partial mastectomy will I be having?
  • What is the expected recovery time?
  • What are the potential risks or complications associated with this surgery?
  • Will I need chemotherapy or radiation therapy after the surgery?
  • How long will I need to stay in the hospital after the procedure?
  • Are there any lifestyle changes I should make before surgery?
  • What kind of support can I expect from my healthcare team during my recovery?

During Surgery

  • Will I be able to keep any of my breast tissue after the surgery?
  • Will I need reconstructive surgery after the procedure?
  • Will I have any scarring after the procedure?
  • How much pain should I expect during and after the procedure?

After Surgery

• What type of follow-up care will I need after the surgery? • When can I resume normal activities such as exercise and driving? • When should I call my doctor if something doesn’t seem right during recovery? • Are there any resources available for emotional support during recovery?

Questions to Ask Your Surgeon
Before Surgery: 8 questions
During Surgery: 4 questions

Conclusion

Partial mastectomy is a type of breast cancer surgery that can be used to remove a tumor or lump from the breast. Oncoplastic surgery combines plastic surgery techniques with partial mastectomy in order to preserve as much of the natural shape and appearance of the breast as possible. Delayed reconstructive options are available if you decide not to have immediate reconstruction after the partial mastectomy. It is important to discuss all your options with your surgeon before deciding on a course of action.

The decision to undergo a partial mastectomy can be difficult, but it may be necessary for some women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Knowing what to expect and understanding all your options can help you make an informed decision about your care.

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