Cancer treatments sometimes damage a body part’s function or appearance. Reconstructive surgery helps to repair that damage.
What are Common Types of Reconstructive Surgery for Cancer Patients?
Oncologic reconstructive surgery often involves microsurgical techniques. These allow the surgeon to utilize your own tissue to reconstruct relevant areas that have been affected by cancer and cancer treatment. There are several types of reconstructive surgery that may be necessary. Examples include:
Head and Neck Oncologic Microsurgery
In this area, the surgeon may repair and reconstruct the throat, tongue, nose, or other structures using tissues that are harvested from another part of the body. Common donor sites include the abdomen, thigh, and forearm. If bone reconstruction is needed, relevant tissue may be grafted from other bones that can donate tissue without compromising the local structure and physical function. Likewise, muscle tissue can be taken from one part of the body to use in reconstructive procedures that have the objective of correcting paralysis.
Reconstructive Breast Surgery
The reconstruction of a woman's breasts after completing breast cancer treatment, or as a part of her process, can sustain or restore her most natural appearance. Breast cancer can have devastating effects on a woman's body and her psyche. The reconstruction process is undertaken with immense care for optimal outcomes, though it may involve different techniques for each situation. When possible and preferred, breast reconstruction may be performed using lifelike breast implants. Other options, which involve autologous tissue, include flap procedures. Dr. Olack performs DIEP perforator flap surgery, GAP flaps, TRAM flap surgery.
Does Oncologic Reconstructive Surgery Require Hospitalization?
In many cases, the reconstructive procedures needed to restore form and function after cancer treatment can be performed in an outpatient center. It is important that your procedure and immediate recovery are approached with the utmost care. Dr. Olack will plan your treatment accordingly. Sometimes, more complex cases involve a few days in the hospital.
Will I Need More than One Reconstructive Procedure?
It's possible that you'll require more than one procedure to fully resolve the conditions that are inhibiting you from optimal well-being. Cancer treatments can cause extensive scarring, physical deformity, and other cosmetic concerns. These can have a detrimental effect on your overall sense of wholeness and confidence. Your oncologic reconstruction revolves around restoring the most natural-looking, natural-feeling, and functional tissue. To achieve your treatment goals, Dr. Olack may plan your procedures in phases. The first phase may involve prepping the body for new tissue. The insertion of breast expanders is an example. The second phase, in this example, would be the insertion of breast implants.
Your oncologic reconstruction process is a journey that is managed with ongoing clarity and compassion. We want you to feel supported and fully informed as you navigate this process of coming fully home to yourself.