A partial mastectomy, or lumpectomy, removes a portion of the breast including the tumor. In most cases, lumpectomy is followed by radiation therapy as part of Breast Conservation Therapy (BCT). Lumpectomy leaves many patients with an indentation or contour deformity, which can be worsened by radiation therapy that often follows.

An oncoplastic closure is a surgery that uses breast tissue and skin surrounding a lumpectomy defect to improve a patient’s breast shape. This technique is ideal for larger breasted women who have enough breast tissue to redistribute as needed. Patients who choose this approach generally have the procedure at the time of lumpectomy, prior to radiation. While contour can be improved after radiation therapy, patients who choose to correct lumpectomy defects prior to radiation tend to have better outcomes.

Procedure details

  • Your breast surgeon and plastic surgeon review the location of the tumor and estimate the size of the defect prior to surgery so that the location of the incision and technique can be planned
  • Incisions are often hidden around the areola or along the fold underneath the breast
  • After the lumpectomy is completed, your plastic surgeon will elevate and mobilize adjacent breast tissue and skin to fill the lumpectomy defect
  • Closure of the breast tissue and skin is performed

Risks & Benefits

Oncoplastic closure allows patients to take advantage of BCT while maintaining their breast shape. Depending on the size of the lumpectomy, your breast size may change after the tumor is removed. Surgery on the opposite breast can be performed to address breast symmetry. It is important to remember that changes will still occur after radiation, including tightening of the skin and possible loss of breast volume, which you may elect to have revised in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will a procedure be required to adjust my other breast?

Not necessarily. If the size of the lumpectomy does not create a significant asymmetry and the nipple-areola position does not change, an oncoplastic closure can be limited to address only the changes that occur in the breast undergoing the lumpectomy.