Oncoplastic breast surgery: comprehensive review

N Bertozzi, M Pesce, P L Santi, E Raposio

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Breast cancer is the most common female cancer in Western populations, affecting 12.5% of women, with 1.38 million patients per year. Breast-conserving surgery followed by postoperative radiotherapy replaced the radical and modified-radical procedures of Halsted and Patey as the standard of care for early-stage breast cancer once the overall and disease-free survival rates of breast-conserving surgery were demonstrated to be equivalent to those of mastectomy. However, excision of >20% of breast tissue, low or centrally located cancer, and large-sized breasts with various grades of breast ptosis, result a in unacceptable cosmetic outcomes. Oncoplastic breast surgery evolved from the breast-conserving surgery by broadening its general indication to achieve wider excision margins without compromising on the cosmetic outcomes. Thus, oncoplastic breast surgery can be defined as a tumor-specific immediate breast reconstruction method that applies aesthetically derived breast reduction techniques to the field of breast cancer surgery and allows for higher volume excision with no aesthetic compromise. However, contralateral breast symmetrization should be regarded as an intrinsic component of the oncoplastic surgery. The main procedures involved are volume-displacement or volume-replacement techniques, which depend on breast size and cancer size/location. Volume-displacement or reshaping procedures apply the plastic surgery principles to transpose a dermo-glandular flap of breast tissue into the defect site, while volume-replacement techniques use autologous tissues to replace the volume loss that follows tumor resection. Furthermore, these procedures are more complex and time-consuming than those involved in breast-conserving surgery. Based on current literature, the authors analyze the different techniques and indications of the oncoplastic breast surgery, determining its complication rate, in order to help both surgeons and their patients in the decision-making stage of breast reconstruction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2572-2585
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


  • Journal Article


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