When a woman is diagnosed with an advanced or particularly aggressive form of breast cancer, a mastectomy (surgical removal of one or both breasts) is usually the best course of treatment, followed or combined with some form of chemotherapy, radiation, hormone, or drug therapy. In the past, full mastectomies (where the entire breast including nipple and areola are removed) were the only options available to women fighting breast cancer.
With developments in treatment and surgical options, particularly in the field of oncoplastic surgery and extreme oncoplasty, Dr. Sadia Khan and the oncology and plastic surgery team at Hoag Breast Center in Newport Beach, CA have the skills and medical technology necessary to offer breast cancer patients more options for treatment and breast reconstruction, like breast sparing mastectomies when possible.
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Breast Cancer Surgery at Hoag Breast Center
With this procedure, the glandular breast tissue is removed but the areola and nipple are preserved for breast reconstruction. To determine whether a patient is a candidate, Dr. Khan evaluates several factors, such as the proximity of the cancer cells to the nipple and the size and type of the tumors. Plastic surgery considerations, like nipple size and reconstruction goals, can also factor into the eligibility criteria for this procedure.
Skin sparing mastectomy
Similar to a nipple sparing mastectomy, this procedure involves removing glandular breast tissue (along with areola and nipple) and preserving the skin surrounding the breast for reconstruction. An implant or the patient’s own tissue can then be used to reconstruct the breasts after cancer surgery.
The benefits of nipple and skin sparing mastectomies include less scarring and better cosmetic outcomes.
Total mastectomy (Simple)
A total or simple mastectomy removes the nipple and breast tissue, as well as some of the overlying breast skin.
After a mastectomy, balloon like tissue expanders gradually filled with saline help the remaining breast tissue to expand, in order to prepare for breast reconstruction with an implant. Tissue expanders are either removed at the time of implant, or left in place permanently in addition to an implant.
Breast Implants After Mastectomy
Depending on the patient, implants after a mastectomy are either added at the time of mastectomy, known as one-stage immediate breast reconstruction. Dr. Khan and the plastic surgery team at Hoag Breast Center work together to complete both procedures in one surgery.
The second option is to insert a tissue expander, and add the breast implant at a later date once the tissue has sufficiently stretched (typically between two and three months).
Flaps refer to the use of tissue from the patient’s abdomen or other parts of the body, like a thigh, to create the breast implant after a mastectomy. Using tissue flaps requires more surgeries and downtime than silicone implants, and may present typical tissue donor complications.
Contact a Breast Cancer Specialist Today
For compassionate, professional diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer, do not hesitate to contact Dr. Sadia Khan, a fellowship-trained breast surgeon at Hoag Breast Care Center in Newport Beach. Please call 949.390.9381 to schedule a comprehensive consultation today!
Next, read about Extreme Oncoplasty.