What is a lumpectomy breast reconstruction? Until recently, when people considered breast reconstruction they were thinking of reconstructing an entire breast after a mastectomy. However, there are several options for the reconstruction of the partial breast defects that occur after a lumpectomy. A recent survey conducted by the American Society of Plastic Surgery showed that 46% of women undergoing a lumpectomy were dissatisfied with the cosmetic appearance of their breasts afterwards. The reconstruction of lumpectomy defects is frequently referred to as oncoplastic surgery. Since every lumpectomy defect is unique, the options to reconstruct them vary from patient to patient. The main oncoplastic procedures can be summarized as follows:
1. 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 oncologic 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. 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. Click here to download our patient instructions for oncoplastic breast reconstruction.
2. Breast implant. In some women, a saline or silicone breast implant can be placed to restore volume and shape after a lumpectomy.
3. Fat grafting. 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. Click here to read more about fat grafting. Click here to download our patient instructions for fat grafting.
4. Flap procedures. Lumpectomy defects may also be amenable to flap reconstruction. The size and location of a breast deformity after lumpectomy dictates which flap, if any, is a good option for partial breast reconstruction. Newer flaps known as TDAP and LICAP flaps are available for partial breast reconstruction of the outer breast. These flaps conceal scars in the armpit region and often do not require the removal of muscle tissue. Click here to learn about TDAP and LICAP flaps .
Anesthesia: Lumpectomy breast reconstruction is performed with the patient under general anesthesia.
Length of procedure: 30 minutes to 4 hours. Highly variable, depending on technique used for reconstruction.
Estimated recovery time: You can return to work after 1 to 4 weeks and should avoid vigorous activities for 2 to 6 weeks. Visible bruising and swelling should begin to improve within 2 to 4 weeks.
Side effects: Common side effects include bruising, and swelling. The breast may have some irregular contours after surgery. Delayed wound healing and infections may occur.
Before-and-after photos oncoplastic breast reconstructions: Click here