Many women with early stage breast cancers undergo lumpectomy rather than mastectomy. Lumpectomy, sometimes called breast-conserving surgery, involves removing a small tumor and a minimal amount of surrounding tissue instead of the whole breast. It is frequently followed by radiation therapy to prevent tumor recurrence.
Though lumpectomy preserves more tissue, some defects may occur, and in many cases, reconstruction can be performed to optimize the appearance of the breast and improve patient satisfaction.The reconstruction of lumpectomy defects, also called oncoplastic sugery, includes:
- Oncoplastic Breast Reconstruction
Women with moderate- to large-sized breasts who require a lumpectomy may be candidates for an oncoplastic breast reduction. The plastic surgeon and breast surgeon work together to plan how breast tissue will be removed to enable both a lumpectomy and breast reduction. The other breast is reduced at the same time to match the reconstructed breast.
- Breast Implant
In some women, a saline or silicone breast implant can be placed to restore volume and shape after a lumpectomy.
- Fat Grafting
Fat is taken by liposuction from a part of the body where it is unwanted and then injected in the breast to correct a contour deformity.
- Flap Procedures
Flap reconstruction may be appropriate for some lumpectomy defects. The size and location of a deformity after lumpectomy dictates which flap, if any, is a good option for partial breast reconstruction.
These procedures are usually performed under general anesthesia and can take one to three hours to complete. Some patients may be able to go home the same day, while others are hospitalized for one or two days. Patients can return to work in one to four weeks.
Common side effects include bruising, swelling and initial irregularities in breast appearance. Delayed wound healing and infections may occur.