Oncoplastic reconstruction is an option for patients who are candidates for a partial mastectomy, or “lumpectomy.” Often, partial mastectomies will leave a patient with breasts unequal in size or that appear distorted after radiation. Oncoplastic breast reconstruction involves performing a breast reduction or breast lift on the breast cancer side after the breast surgeon has completed a partial mastectomy, and then performing a breast reduction on the opposite side to match. This tends to leave patients who have had a large part of their breast removed more symmetric.
Recovery from oncoplastic surgery can vary with each patient. The first stage of breast reconstruction is always performed under general anesthesia and is usually an outpatient procedure but may require a one-night hospital stay. Most patients need to take 2-4 weeks off of work but can expect to be back to their pre-surgical work and exercise routines within six to eight weeks.
The goal of oncoplastic surgery is to create a breast that is soft with a good shape and is reasonably symmetrical to the opposite breast. This is easier for some patients to achieve than others. The way a person heals, the type of mastectomy, the patient’s existing tissue, and the patient’s opposite breast are all factors that contribute to the final result.