While most individuals generally associate breast reconstruction with a mastectomy where the entire breast is removed, many patients also have the option of reconstructing partial breast defects following mastectomy. Reconstruction of partial breast defects is often called oncoplastic surgery. Even though it is often referred to as breast conservation therapy, as many as 46% of women are dissatisfied with the cosmetic appearance of their breasts after lumpectomy. Since every lumpectomy defect is unique, the options to reconstruct them vary from patient to patient.
Breast reconstruction following lumpectomy can be performed at the time of lumpectomy, or later on – even years after the lumpectomy. In this way, patients who previously had lumpectomies that were not offered reconstruction can still take advantage of these innovative techniques. The main oncoplastic procedures can be summarized as follows:
ONCOPLASTIC BREAST REDUCTION-RECONSTRUCTION
Women with moderate-to-large sized breasts may be candidates for an oncoplastic breast reduction. The healthy breast can be reduced at the same time to match the reconstructed breast. In this way, patients can have their cancer treated, the breast reconstructed and the other breast matched to resemble the reconstructed breast all in one operation.
In some women, a breast implant can be placed to restore volume and shape after a lumpectomy.
Fat is harvested by liposuction from a part of the body where it is unwanted, and then grafted by injection to correct a breast contour deformity caused by lumpectomy.
Some lumpectomy defects may be reconstructed with flaps, the details of which vary depending on the size and location of the lumpectomy.
BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTOS
Browse a photo gallery of Washington University Physician patients' before and after photos of breast reconstructions after lumpectomys here.
To learn more about breast reconstruction following lumpectomy, and if you are a candidate, review photos, or testimonials please visit us online at westcountyplasticsurgeons.wustl.edu.