Can a Plastic Surgeon Remove Breast Cancer?
Plastic surgeons do not remove breast cancer tumors; however, your plastic surgeon is a critical member of your team of doctors. They work together to achieve the best possible outcome for breast cancer treatment and breast reconstruction.
Finding out that you need to undergo breast cancer surgery is traumatic and frightening. While it can be difficult to focus after being diagnosed, it is extremely important that you take the needed time to research your options on reconstruction prior to your surgery. Understanding your surgery can assist you on your journey to better health and allow you to make plans for reconstruction.
Who will remove my breast cancer tumor?
The team of doctors that will be working on your breast cancer treatment may include but are not limited to:
- Medical oncologist: This is a physician that specializes in cancer. They are specifically trained in the behavior and treatment of cancer. The oncologist will oversee all of your medical treatment and your progress. They will be able to tell you if you need radiation, chemotherapy or hormone therapy.
- Breast surgeon: A breast surgeon specializes specifically in the removal of breast tumors. He or she often works closely with a plastic surgeon to conserve breast tissue or reconstruct the breast.
- Plastic surgeon: Your plastic surgeon specializes in breast reconstruction. It is important to choose a highly experienced surgeon such as Dr. Garrett A. Wirth MD, MS, FACS when it comes to the breast reconstruction process.
- Radiation oncologist: This physician is specially trained in radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer.
How does breast reconstruction work with my breast cancer treatment?
Depending on the treatment that is ultimately decided by your oncologist, you will either have your entire breast removed or a portion of it during surgery. After this step is complete, your plastic surgeon will reconstruct your breast using tissue from another part of your body or with implants. This is called immediate reconstruction and it requires coordination of both the breast cancer and plastic surgery teams. Immediate reconstruction may be delayed if you require additional treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation. In some cases, tissue expanders are needed prior to reconstruction.
If you are unable to undergo immediate reconstruction, breast reconstruction is still available to you. It may simply have to wait until a later phase of your breast cancer treatment.
Why choose Wirth Plastic Surgery?
- Dr. Wirth is a board-certified plastic surgeon and is a diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
- Our patients feel safe in his hands knowing that he has carried out over 20,000 procedures over his 15 years of practice.
- He is an expert in procedures of the breast, face and body.
- He is renowned for his focus on patient care, comfort, and expertise and his honest approach.
What are my breast reconstruction options?
There are several options available to you if you wish to undergo reconstruction after your breast cancer surgery. Your reconstruction will be determined by several factors that will be discussed in detail with your breast cancer surgeon, oncologist and plastic surgeon prior to your procedure. They may include the following:
- Reconstruction with implants
- Flap reconstruction
- Nipple-sparing mastectomy
- Microvascular tissue flap procedures, including TRAM flap and DIEP flap
- Latissimus dorsi flap procedures
- Oncoplastic breast reduction