Breast-conserving cancer surgery or breast removal? It depends on the stage of the disease.
Thanks to plastic surgical skills (the so-called oncoplastic methods) we can perform large resections for the cancer breast and remodel the breast back at the same operation. In 2017, in the Savonlinna area, 75% of the breast cancer surgeries were performed with the breast-conserving method.
It is possible to successfully operate on relatively big tumours by reducing the size and reshaping large breasts. The surgical radicality (clear margins around a tumour) is assessed by radiological and pathological examinations after the operation.
Sometimes we also correct the size of the healthy breast to get optimal symmetry. We would do this while performing the radical resection and remodelling of the breast in case of big tumours.
Breast removal can be necessary when the tumour is very large in proportion to the breast size or if it is multilocular. Breast cancer gene carriers will also need to go through breast removal.
If we need to remove the breast, the skin of the breast area can still be spared. We can add an expander below the pectoral muscle, which can then be filled to restore the size of the breast, all while in cancer treatment. Depending on the size and location of a tumour, we can save the nipple too. We perform the final breast reconstruction after the patient has recovered from her disease. It is possible to perform an immediate breast reconstruction during the removal in selected cases too.
Photo: Oncoplastic surgery during operation and the result two years after the surgery
Photo: The patient before the breast-conserving oncoplastic surgery (left breast).
Reduction mammaplasty to the right breast was performed as a symmetry correction.
Postoperative patient care
Most people go home on the second day after breast cancer surgery. Often patients go home with a drain from the operation area. The drains are removed after their outputs are under 50 ml per day. The stitches are removed 8 days after the operation.
A possible, but rare complication after the operation, is blood leakage. Most often it happens during the first postoperative day, in which case a new operation to evacuate the hematoma is needed. The operation price includes the treatment of this kind of complication.
Luckily the infection complications are very rare. The treatment of infections in the operation area within a week from surgery is also included in the price of the operation.
We recommend our patients to stay in Savonlinna for about one week after the operation. The patients can visit the outpatient clinic as often as needed during their stay in Savonlinna.