Can Oncoplastic Surgery Replace Mastectomies?

22 Nov

I read an article recently about how oncoplastic could actually be a viable solution or replacement for a mastectomy. This article featured the events of a 28 year old Indian female who was diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer. As with any young woman the thought of losing both of her breasts had her feeling downright depressed.

When this young woman visited her oncologist he assured her that he could save her breasts by using oncoplastic surgery and by reshaping her breasts. Her cancerous tumours were removed and she went through reconstructive surgery instead of the dreaded mastectomy. This surgical method helped to cover all of the defects that were left from her cancer and even her scars became almost invisible. Two years later she is cancer free and happy.

This procedure is becoming more common and due to advancements in breast cancer research and treatment oncoplastic surgeries are being performed more frequently.

The best results have been seen when this surgery is done in Stage I or II of breast cancer. Doctors are more willing to perform this surgery as well and this is mainly due to the increase of young woman being diagnosed with breast cancer. Many woman are still in their 30’s and the thought of losing one or both of their breasts is extremely traumatic.

Oncoplastic breast surgery is different to a mastectomy as it allows certain areas of the breast to be removed instead of the entire breast. Surgeons are seeing this as a new development with lots of potential.

You can understand this surgical procedure better if you think of removing a large chunk of the breast tissue. Once this chunk has been removed reconstructive surgery is performed so the breast looks normal again.

The benefits of this to woman of all ages is huge. Woman are going to be more willing to undergo this type of surgery earlier increasing survival rates. There will be new demand for this procedure as word of it becomes more widespread.

Oncoplastic surgery is different to breast reconstruction, a reconstruction is normally performed after a mastectomy. For a surgeon to perform a oncoplastic procedure they must be trained in oncological and in plastic surgery. The skills required for this type of surgeon consists of surgical oncology, plastic surgery and breast radiology.

In this article Dr Lalit Varadpande, who is a medical oncologist at Queen’s NRI hospital says:

“Oncoplastic breast reconstruction surgery is successfully applicable when the cancer is detected in early stages, say I and II. It’s usually catching up among young, urban professionals who prefer it to mastectomy. The outcome and risk factors of recurrence are more or less the same as the conventional mastectomy. But radiation is a must post oncoplastic breast reconstruction.”

We will keep you updated with any new surgical procedures that we find that help woman deal with various breast issues, either enlargement or concerning breast health and related diseases.