This type of operation is suitable for some patients where their breast cancer is in the outer part of the breast and their surgeon feels it is possible to recommend this operation. The procedure aims at replacing the lost breast tissue (removed at the time of cancer surgery) with skin and fat and therefore it can be referred to as a partial breast reconstruction.
Most women have spare tissue under the arms. This tissue can be used to reconstruct the space left in your breast after your tumour has been removed. There is no muscle removed in this operation, therefore there is no affect to how your arm or chest will be able to move. You will have quite a long scar on the side of your chest wall going towards your back. All the surgery on your breast, including lymph nodal surgery (if required) will be performed through the same scar. Therefore, there won’t be any scar on the breast (except in some cases where it may be necessary to remove the skin on the breast if the underlying cancer is close to the skin). The aim of this operation is to replace the tissue lost from your breast and to restore the size and shape of your breast. However, subsequent radiotherapy may result in some overall shrinkage. This shrinkage may make your breasts appear different to one another.
You will be offered counselling to help you with your cancer diagnosis and surgery, and you will have the opportunity to view photographs of patients who have had this procedure. We can also arrange for you to meet up/talk to a patient who has recovered from this operation if you wish.
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