An oncoplastic breast reduction is a procedure that is available to women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and are candidates for breast conservation therapy (lumpectomy).
Who Can Undergo an Oncoplastic Breast Reduction?
This procedure is typically reserved for women who have larger breasts, or pendulous breasts. It may also be used for select women who have larger lumps removed from their breasts and require reconstruction to avoid any contour deformities. Every woman who is facing breast cancer should see a plastic surgeon to be evaluated even if breast conservation is planned. Combining lumpectomy with oncoplastic breast reconstruction can significantly improve cosmetic outcome.
Benefits of an Oncoplastic Breast Reduction
There is both cosmetic value and therapeutic value to combining lumpectomy with an Oncoplastic breast reduction. A few of these benefits are:
- By re-arranging the breast tissue to fill the void left behind by the lumpectomy, you avoid some of the deformities that are caused by scarring and radiation. Leaving a “defect” or “hole” behind in the breast will often cause some degree of contracture and deformity of the breast. If you combine this with radiation, these contractures can cause significant deformity. An oncoplastic breast reduction fills in the “hole” left behind by lumpectomy thereby minimizing the scarring and contracture deformities.
- In ladies who have large or pendulous breasts to begin with, the procedure combines the cancer operation with techniques used in breast reduction. Therefore, people who have an oncoplstic breast reduction gain all of the benefits inherent to a breast reduction (e.g. less back, neck and shoulder pain) as well as improvement in the shape and appearance of the breast.
- Typically, because the cancer removal is going to be followed by a reconstruction, much more tissue is removed around the lump. This means that more normal tissue is removed around the cancer, theoretically giving a better and more complete resection. In addition to this, more tissue is removed from other areas of the breast as well as the opposite breast. This gives a sample from the normal areas of the breast.
- In ladies who have large breasts who require radiation following a lumpectomy, the dose of radiation is higher because it has more tissue to go through. By reducing the size of the breasts, you also reduce the dose of radiation that is needed. This will reduce the risk of adverse events from radiation
How do I get this procedure done?
Dr. Collins is one of the few plastic surgeons in the New Haven and Shoreline area who performs Oncoplastic Breast Reductions. If you are interested in exploring this option, call our office for an appointment. We will coordinate surgery with your breast surgeon.