Lumpectomy reconstruction, also known as oncoplastic surgery, is an alternative approach to breast conservation treatment that combines plastic surgery, breast reconstruction and conventional breast cancer surgery. It’s intended to achieve the best possible cosmetic results from a lumpectomy without sacrificing your surgeons’ ability to treat the cancer. Many women who have had oncoplastic surgery report that there’s no sign that they ever had breast cancer surgery — because their breast shape looks similar to or better than before their breast cancer surgery, their breasts look symmetric and the scarring from the surgery is hidden from view.
Besides improved cosmetic results, oncoplastic surgery can also provide the following benefits:
- Widened Surgical Margins — Surgeons normally remove some additional tissue, called a margin, surrounding the tumor itself to help ensure that all the cancer cells have been eliminated. Positive margins (cancer cells found in the edges of the removed tissue) can mean that some cancer still remains near the tumor site. Studies have shown that oncoplastic surgery patients are less likely to have positive margins than patients who had a conventional lumpectomy. Surgeons who perform standard lumpectomies sometimes are reluctant to remove wide margins of tissue around the tumor because that can worsen the cosmetic impact of the procedure. Oncoplastic surgeons are less concerned about taking wide margins because their breast reconstruction methods will effectively fill the space left after removing the tumor.
- Option of Breast Volume Reduction as part of an Oncoplastic Procedure — Patients with macromastia (large breasts causing back, neck or breast pain) can choose to have a breast reduction performed as part of their oncoplastic breast cancer surgery. In addition to the benefit of wider margins, women who have a breast reduction or lift as part of their cancer surgery get the additional benefit of decreased pain related to their large or drooping breasts.