The internationally recognized subspecialists at the OSUCCC – James believe the best way to treat patients and manage their disease successfully is to deliver the latest, most effective treatments and follow-up available.
Because these renowned subspecialists understand that cancer is complex, they use the most effective means of treating patients through an expert team approach that reaches across medical disciplines (radiation oncologists, surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, molecular and biological pathologists, genetic scientists and more) to design the very best treatment plan and therapies to target each patient’s specific cancer — offering improved outcomes, faster responses and fewer side effects.
Advantages of Microsurgical Reconstruction
For many patients diagnosed with cancer, the emotional distress of the illness can be heightened by concerns about physical changes that may arise as a result of treatment.
Microsurgical reconstruction involves microscopes to work with tissue at a vascular level, helping to restore appearance and improve overall quality of life for many patients. Reconstruction does not interfere with other treatments or increase the risk of cancer recurrence.
The natural contour of the breast can be safely and effectively restored through the insertion of a prosthetic implant or the use of a muscle flap procedure.
What Breast Reconstruction Treatments Do We Offer?
Our expert microsurgeons are skilled in numerous procedures, including the following:
- Prosthetic Reconstruction with Expanders and Implants: With prosthetic implants, a tissue expander is first inserted beneath the pectoral muscle, and saline solution is injected into the expander to stretch the tissues for a period of weeks or months, until the desired volume is obtained; at that time, the tissue expander is replaced by a permanent implant
- Latissimus Dorsi Flap: A type of surgery in which the latissimus dorsi back muscle, along with skin, fat and blood vessels, is moved to the chest via a tunnel under the skin to form either a new breast mound or a pocket for a breast implant
- TRAM Flap: A type of surgery in which a portion of the lower abdomen (the rectus abdominis muscle), along with skin, fat and blood vessels, is moved to the chest via a tunnel under the skin; a TRAM flap forms a natural-looking breast, so the patient usually does not need a breast implant. Also called transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous flap
- DIEP Flap: A type of surgery in which blood vessels called deep inferior epigastric perforators (DIEP), as well as the skin and fat connected to them, are removed from the lower abdomen and used for reconstruction; unlike in the TRAM procedure, muscle is left in place
- GAP Flap: This procedure uses the gluteal artery perforator blood vessel, which runs through the buttocks, as well as a section of skin and fat to reconstruct the breast; because no muscle is used, a GAP flap is considered a muscle-sparing type of flap
- TUG Flap: This procedure uses the transverse upper gracilis blood vessel, which runs through the upper thigh area, which reduces visible scarring
- Free Flap: This procedure uses a patient’s own muscle tissues to re-create the breast, without the need for implants; though highly effective, this can be a more prolonged operative procedure, sometimes requiring blood transfusion and more recovery time
- Surgery on Opposite Breast: For symmetry
- Nipple Areola Reconstruction: A procedure in which a nipple mound is created on the reconstructed breast; the areola can then be either tattooed or reconstructed with a skin graft taken from elsewhere on the body
Who Are Candidates for Breast Surgery?
Most women undergoing a mastectomy or lumpectomy are candidates for breast reconstruction. The type of reconstruction used may depend on one’s body, cancer type, personal goals and need for other therapies.
When Can Breast Reconstruction Surgery Take Place?
By including reconstruction consultation as part of their overall treatment plan, patients have the opportunity to make informed choices about their desired outcomes. Based on the unique medical history of each patient, a recommendation will generally be made for one of the following:
- Immediate reconstruction, performed at the same time as the mastectomy
- Delayed reconstruction, performed after recovery from the mastectomy is complete; if radiation is part of the treatment protocol, the surgeon may recommend delayed reconstruction
Other Types of Reconstructive Surgery
The OSUCCC – James offers world-class specialists in reconstructive surgery for the body wall, head and neck, as well as gynecological and urology issues. And as pioneers in esophageal reconstruction, we do more per year than almost any other hospital in the nation.
We are also proud members of the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine (AFIRM) — a multi-institutional project for head, neck and craniofacial reconstruction, as well as limb salvage, where we work to maximize function for patients who have incurred partial or full loss of a limb, and non-healing, chronic wounds.
The Future of Reconstructive Surgery — 3-D Printing
The OSUCCC – James is proud to have our own 3-D printing center, which will soon enable us to model, replicate and replace body parts entirely from plastics. Currently, most methods involve borrowing tissue from other bodily parts and manually shaping it into the structure, but 3-D printing will enable us to literally grow our own plastics — printing bones, tissue and cells.
If you are contemplating reconstructive surgery, or if you want a second opinion or just want to speak to a reconstructive surgery specialist, we are here to help you. Call 800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066 to make an appointment.