Breast reconstruction is a highly personal and often emotional decision that each woman should make with only the most accurate information and top quality support. The two most well known options for treatment of the breast are a mastectomy, or full removal of the breast, and a lumpectomy, a breast-conserving surgery typically followed by radiation. Each of these breast cancer treatments affects the way I approach reconstruction after breast cancer.
The advantages of mastectomy are primarily a reduced risk of local recurrence of cancer and no need to schedule radiation therapy. Many women prefer to undergo a mastectomy to put their minds at ease about the risk of recurrence.
Following a mastectomy, I can perform a full reconstruction of the affected breast using implants, although some women may opt for tissue-based reconstruction instead. Either choice can reconstruct a breast shape that closely matches your pre-operative breasts. Breast reconstruction can occur at the same time as your mastectomy, or months or even years later.
During a lumpectomy, only the tumor is removed instead of the full breast, preserving as much of the natural tissue as possible. Depending on the size of the tumor, however, a lumpectomy can leave behind misshapen or indented breasts that can take on an even more irregular appearance after radiation therapy.
To address this concern, I use oncologic plastic surgery to aggressively remove all trace of cancerous growth while preserving as much breast tissue as possible before using plastic surgery to reconstruct the original shape of the breast. The opposite breast can also be reshaped as needed to create better symmetry. Women who are candidates for a lumpectomy often find that oncoplastic surgery provides superior final contours compared to a traditional lumpectomy
Dr. Nirav Savalia is a board-certified plastic surgeon in Orange County with offices in Newport Beach and Fullerton. Known for his skill, compassion and dedication to patient-centered care, Dr. Savalia works closely with each patient to develop an individualized plan to achieve their cosmetic goals. He is board certified by both the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Plastic Surgery.