Below are some of the most frequently asked questions patients have about oncoplastic surgury issues.
If you have any other questions, or would like to schedule an appointment, we would love to hear from you. Please call us at 732-641-3350
Click on a question below to see the answer.
Is oncoplastic surgery safe?
All surgical procedures, including oncoplastic surgery, are accompanied by a certain degree of risk, whether the procedures are for medical or cosmetic reasons. Our surgical team is dedicated to making your operation go smoothly.
We careful review your medical history and current health condition before deciding if it is safe for you to proceed with surgery. We extensively discuss your condition with your breast cancer surgeon, radiation oncologist, pathologist and medical oncologist.
It is important that you fully disclose all pertinent information so that we are able to make an accurate assessment of the risks involved.
We will take every precaution necessary to reduce the possibility of any complications.
How do I know if oncoplastic surgery is right for me?
There are several important factors that come into play when deciding whether oncoplastic surgery is the right option for you.
One of the most important factors is your health. Being in good health greatly reduces the risk of complications occurring during oncoplastic surgery and leads to a speedy recovery.
Next, you need to ask yourself what your motivations are. People who have oncoplastic surgery generally find that the surgery enhances their overall appearance and self-esteem.
Thirdly, you should have realistic expectations. Oncoplastic surgery is both a science and an art, neither of which are perfect. Set reasonable goals as to the result you wish to achieve and be prepared to thoroughly discuss these goals during your initial consultation.
Can I have several oncoplastic procedures performed simultaneously?
It is a relatively common practice for a plastic surgeon to perform multiple procedures during one operation.
This allows the surgeon to better “sculpt” your final appearance. In addition, having several procedures done simultaneously saves you time and the expense
However, having too much done at one time can lead to complications. The decision to have multiple procedures done depends on which procedures are being done, the extent of surgery, the operating time, and your age/health.
Ultimately, the surgeon decides whether or not it is appropriate to include more than one procedure in your operation.
Does it matter how old I am for oncoplastic surgery?
Due to the variety of procedures available in oncoplastic surgery, there can be no blanket rule on age although age will be taken into consideration when planning your operation.
People of all ages have taken advantage of the image-enhancement offered by oncoplastic surgery.
It is important to realize the limitations of oncoplastic surgery. Oncoplastic surgery cannot “fix” every defect or situation or reverse the cancer formation process. What is a good procedure for one person may not be an appropriate procedure for another. We are committed to making your oncoplastic surgery experience a successful one.
What happens during my initial consultation for oncoplastic surgery?
During your initial consultation we will discuss your desired changes and expectations, review your medical history and current health, and make an assessment on whether the procedure(s) in question are right for you.
Please make sure that you have the records from your mammogram, report from your breast cancer surgeon, and pathology report from your biopsy available.
This is a good time to ask specific questions about the procedure so that you are fully prepared, mentally and emotionally, for surgery.
We will discuss the results that can be achieved, with the aid of photos and/or computer imaging. When a final decision is made, you will need to sign an informed consent stating that you are fully aware and understand what is entailed by your pending operation, including the potential complications and secondary effects.
How long will it take to recover from my oncoplastic surgery?
Generally, post-operative instructions call for rest and limited movement in order to speed up the healing process and recovery time. The length of recovery varies with each procedure and is different for each individual.
Bruises usually disappear within a few days, and most swelling is gone in a matter of weeks. If you follow our post-operative instructions carefully, you will be able to enjoy your normal activities soon.
Your scars will fade over time but are permanent. We take care to conceal any scars so that they are barely visible, if at all.
The image-enhancing effects of oncoplastic surgery become more evident over time with certain procedures taking up to a year for your body to fully adjust and settle into its new look.
When you come in for your consultation we can discuss your expected recovery period and any post-operative instructions in detail.
Recovery time after oncoplastic surgery is about four to six weeks. Depending on complexity and overall health, many people feel better and are able to return to work in three to five weeks.
Will my insurance cover the oncoplastic surgery?
Insurance providers generally cover costs for reconstructive surgery including oncoplastic surgery of BOTH breasts.
Insurance providers will often pay for breast augmentation to reconstruct a breast following lumpectomy or mastectomy; breast reduction to remedy back pain caused by heavy breasts or for correction of symmetry in breast reconstruction;
Insurance providers are required by law to cover breast reconstruction surgery, including oncoplastic surgery after lumpectomy, and any cosmetic operations necessary to create symmetry in either breast.
If your surgery is covered by insurance, pre-certification is required.
We will be happy to assist you with the process.
Please note that Dr. Volshteyn may or may not participate with your specific insurance company plan. Even if we are not listed as participating provider on your company list, we do accept patients with out of network benefits and special request cases.
At this time we do not participate with Medicaid plans, however, you may request your insurance carrier to allow Dr. Volshteyn perform surgery on you through individual case negotiation process. We will be happy to assist you with the process to the best of our abilities.
What are the benefits of oncoplastic surgery?
There are several benefits to having oncoplastic surgery at the same time you’re undergoing a lumpectomy:
- Your cancer and reconstructive procedure may involve only one surgery
- Surgery is usually completed prior to radiation, so you avoid the risks of wound-healing problems that can happen after radiation
- More Symmetric breasts appearance then after simple lumpectomy
- Decrease of size or improvement of shape of the breast, if this was a problem prior to surgery
What are the most common techniques used for oncoplastic surgery?
Most common techniques used in oncoplastic surgery are breast lift, breast reduction, breast tissue rearrangement to prevent post lumpectomy contour depression, breast implant placement, breast implant replacement or repositioning, fat grafting or fat transfer
Does oncoplastic surgery involves drains?
In many cases oncoplastic surgical procedures do not involve drains.
What is the difference between reconstructive breast surgery and oncoplastic surgery?
For me, reconstructive surgery refers to reconstruction of breast after mastectomy, or breast removal surgery. It can be performed either immediately at the time of mastectomy by a plastic surgeon, or years after mastectomy. Regardless, in my mind, it refers to reconstruction after breast had been removed completely.
Oncoplastic surgery, in my mind, refers to reconstruction of the breast after lumpectomy, when only part of the breast had been removed. Commonly it uses similar or the same techniques as reconstructive surgery after mastectomy (that is where confusion is).
Oncoplastic surgery combines the removal of breast cancer as part of lumpetomy as well as immediate reconstruction. Reconstructive methods include procedures performed on the same and opposite breast. They include breast reduction, breast lift, breast re-arrangement, fat grafting, implants, local and distant flaps and other procedures. Usually these procedures are performed on the patients at the time of lumpectomy prior to radiation treatment.
Does oncoplastic surgery hurt?
You will be under anesthesia during your operation so there will be no pain during the operation.
In the days (or weeks) following the oncoplastic operation, you may experience some discomfort which can be effectively treated with oral medication.
What kind of anesthesia will be used for oncoplastic surgery?
The type of the anesthesia varies with each procedure. For most oncoplastic procedures, general anesthesia is needed and you will be asleep during the entire procedure of breast biopsy, lumpectomy and reconstruction. The anesthesia used in your operation will depend on the type and extent of the procedure(s), your age, and the surgeon’s preference.