Reconstruction after breast cancer

Tens of thousands of women worldwide are faced with a diagnosis of breast cancer. During the disease, not only their health is at risk, but also their femininity, since during the healing process it may be necessary to remove all or only a part of the breast, which may impose another psychological burden on the patient. We talked with Dr. Béla Debreczeni, a plastic surgeon at the Duna Medical Center, about the possibilities of reconstruction after breast cancer.
Reconstruction after breast cancer

Reconstruction at the same time as tumor removal

Before the operation, the oncoteam, which includes the plastic surgeon, decides whether the reconstruction will take place in one or two steps for the patient. The type, biological behavior, and extent of the tumor determine whether breast-conserving or mastectomy surgery is performed. If the former takes place, immediate recovery is possible, which means that breast reconstruction will take place at the same time as the tumor removal surgery. Several techniques can be used for this: tissue replacement or even implantation of an implant. In the case of a larger breast size, it may be necessary to perform the reconstruction in two steps, in the first step tissue expansion devices are implanted, followed by the implant.

Reconstruction after mastectomy

Deferred reconstruction can also take place if the patient's condition does not allow for immediate reconstruction, it can only take place after the healing process, at the earliest after 1 year. In this case too, plastic surgeons have several methods available to replace the removed tissue before the implant is placed.

One of these is when replacement is done with the abdominal flap. At that time, part of the abdominal tissue is removed and rotated into the breast defect. An abdominoplasty is performed in place of the tissue. If a dorsal flap is used for replacement, a bay leaf-shaped island of fat is removed and placed in the breast in the line of the bra strap. After this, a horizontal scar remains on the back, but it remains hidden. Sometimes, due to the central location of the tumor, the areola of the nipple is also removed. During the reconstruction, it can be corrected with tissue replacement and cosmetic coloring for the sake of the aesthetic end result.

Mammography, breast reconstruction for women with implants

Cancers of the breast do not discriminate, so they can also occur in women with breast implants. In their case, it is also important that they participate in the screenings, but in their case, the examination must be performed with a special technique.

The mammography device used at the Duna Medical Center is suitable for performing effective and gentle cancer screening on women wearing implants. In addition, thanks to modern surgical techniques, it is possible to remove the tumor and immediately restore the breast even while keeping the implant.

If you have further questions or would like to consult with our plastic surgeon, book an appointment!

Dr. Zoltán Béla Debreczeni