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Onco Reconstruction

Different Categories of Reconstructive Surgery

Reconstructive Microsurgery

Using a powerful microscope, a plastic surgeon can employ a patient’s own tissue to reconstruct areas affected by cancer—a process known as reconstructive microsurgery. This intricate technique involves isolating tissue from one body part, connecting it to an artery and vein, completely detaching it, and then transferring it to another part of the patient’s body for reconstruction. Typically termed a “free flap,” this tissue could consist of skin, fat, muscle, bone, or a combination of these components.

Microsurgery for Head and Neck Cancer

Plastic surgeons specialize in reconstructing regions impacted by head and neck cancer using microsurgery. They may reconstruct structures like the nose, tongue, or throat by utilizing tissue from diverse body areas such as the thigh, abdomen, or forearm.

 In cases of lower jawbone reconstruction due to cancer, surgeons may use the smaller bone from the lower leg (fibula). For individuals experiencing facial paralysis post-tumor removal, a small muscle transfer from the inner thigh could restore their ability to smile.

Oncoplastic Breast Conservation Surgery

Oncoplastic breast conservation surgery integrates an aesthetic dimension to lumpectomy by reshaping or reconstructing the breast to retain a natural appearance and texture. The goal is to eliminate cancer while minimizing significant scarring post-surgery and radiation. Plastic surgery techniques like breast lift, breast reduction, or local flaps are commonly employed in these procedures. Surgery may also be performed on the other breast to establish or enhance symmetry. Besides preserving a healthy physical appearance, oncoplastic breast conservation surgery aids women in emotional healing post-cancer surgery, reinstating confidence, self-esteem, and femininity.

Reconstructive Microsurgery for Breast Cancer

Utilizing a woman’s own tissue is a prevalent approach in constructing a new breast. This reconstructed breast often appears and feels more natural. The deep inferior epigastric artery perforator (DIEP) flap is one such method for breast reconstruction, involving the removal of skin and fat from the lower abdomen while preserving the muscle. Women opting for DIEP flap breast reconstruction might experience reduced pain and faster recovery compared to techniques that do not preserve the muscle. This approach minimizes damage to the donor site, preserving abdominal wall integrity and strength.