Oncoplastic breast surgery: indications, techniques and perspectives

Alexandre Mendonça Munhoz, Eduardo Montag, Rolf Gemperli


Breast-conservation surgery (BCS) is established as a safe option for most women with early breast cancer. Recently, advances in oncoplastic techniques have reduced surgical trauma and thus are capable of preserving the breast form and quality of life. In spite of the most BCS defects can be managed with primary closure, the aesthetic outcome may be unpredictable. Oncoplastic reconstruction may begin at the time of BCS (immediate), weeks (delayed-immediate) or months to years afterwards (delayed). With immediate reconstruction, the surgical process is smooth, since both procedures can be associated in one operative setting. Additionally, it permits wider excision of the tumor, with a superior mean volume of the specimen and potentially reducing the incidence of margin involvement. The oncoplastic techniques are related to volume displacement or replacement procedures including local flaps, latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flap and reduction mammaplasty/masthopexy. Regardless of the fact that there is no consensus concerning the best approach, the criteria are determined by the surgeon’s experience and the size of the defect in relation to the size of the remaining breast. On the basis of our 15-year experience, it is possible to identify trends in types of breast defects and to develop an algorithm for immediate BCS reconstruction on the basis of the initial breast volume, the extent/location of glandular tissue ressection and the remaining available breast tissue. The main advantages of the technique utilized should include reproducibility, low interference with the oncologic treatment and long-term results. Surgical planning should include the patients’s preferences, and chiefly addressing individual reconstructive requirements, enabling each patient to receive an individual “custom-made” reconstruction.