The Breast Reconstruction Service at Hillel Yaffe puts the patient at the center, from the first meeting at the clinic until nipple reconstruction, which symbolizes conquering the disease.
The model of shared planning and overall view of removal and reconstruction have been unquestionably proven to improve patient experience, communication between the treatment teams, and preserving the treatment continuum until recovery.
The reconstructions are carried out using two main methods:
Breast reconstruction using patient breast tissue – this method of breast reconstruction is appropriate for a wide range of cases, from removal of small lumps up until full breast reconstruction. These reconstructions generally take place at the same times as a lumpectomy (immediate reconstruction) and greatly reduce the suffering and distress associated with mastectomy.
Breast reconstructions using implants – these reconstructions are appropriate in cases of complete mastectomy. When possible, they take place at the same time as the mastectomy (immediate reconstruction) so as to enable the patient to leave the hospital with a reconstructed breast.
What is oncoplastic reconstruction?
Oncoplastic breast reconstruction is breast reconstruction using methods taken from the world of aesthetic breast surgery.
Today, thanks to breast cancer screening tests and advanced treatment options, the tumors which surgeons need to remove have become smaller and smaller, leaving the woman with more healthy breast tissue.
Oncoplastic surgeries are gradually becoming the most common reconstruction method in the field of breast cancer. The plastic surgeon and breast surgeon plan the operation together to reach a point that after the lumpectomy the plastic surgeon will be able to design the breast tissue in such a way that will improve both recovery and the final aesthetic look.
For example, in a patient who has given birth and breastfed in the past, or who has had changes in weight over the years and sagging breasts, the lumpectomy can be planned together with a breast lift. For patients with very large breasts that are uncomfortable, the lumpectomy can be planned to be accompanied by breast reduction. For patients who are interested in enlarging their small breasts, the lumpectomy can be planned to be accompanied by breast enlargement.
What about scarring?
The scars from oncoplastic surgery are the same scars characteristic of aesthetic breast surgery. In this way, the embarrassment which can accompany patients who bear scars associated with cancer surgery, can be solved.
Can the appearance of the scars be improved?
A significant part of the scar’s appearance is determined by internal factors in the patient herself. However, there are also external factors which can be affected during and following surgery. Before surgery we will plan well where the scars will be, so they will be in the least obvious place in regard to clothing or the body’s natural curves. During surgery we meticulously preserve tissue quality and vitality, and most importantly, reduce the skin tension to the greatest possible extent. One of the ways to achieve this is using an innovative method published by Dr. Friedman and Dr. Borenstein, for constructing a breast from the basis and outwards.
After surgery, the breast can be bandaged, like a “plastercast”, which helps maintain the breast structure and reduces tension during the first, critical weeks after surgery. After the bandage is removed, silicone strips can be used on the scar for periods of between several weeks to several months.
The scars greatly improve during the year after surgery, in which they change from being broad and red to white, flat scars. As noted, with the help of several simple actions and planning, we can provide the scars with the best conditions to reach the optimal conditions.
In short, the new breast reconstruction methods are wonderful news for patients, meaning that already during the actual cancer treatment itself, the safety and aesthetic appearance of surgery can be improved.