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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    If I have to remove the breast for cancer, what are my options for reconstruction?

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    Dr Michael Yunaev

    Breast Surgeon, General Surgeon

    There are a number of reconstruction options available for women undergoing breast cancer treatment or surgical prophylaxis. These can be classified into implant reconstruction or reconstruction using your own tissue.

    Implant reconstruction is most often performed at the same time as the removal of cancer operation. It can be done in a single operation (one stage) or in 2 operations (two stage).

    Reconstruction with your own tissue uses your own tissue from another area like back, tummy, buttocks or thigh and brings this around to the breast area to recreate the appearance of the breast. Some of these “flaps” can be done whilst attached to the original site, whilst others need to be cut from the original site and then reattached to the new location, whilst still others can be done either way.

    There are pros and cons to each of these approaches and these needs to be viewed in a specific individual context for a specific patient. What’s good for one person may not be suitable for the next.

    No operation is free of risks and reconstruction procedures certainly carry a number of risks. Therefore, it is important to consult widely about these decisions and be comfortable with approach and the risks associated with it. These risks may be reduced by making sure that a well-trained Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon with an interest in reconstruction or a Plastic Surgeon performs your operation.

    For more information on Oncoplastic surgery please visit my website

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