Oncoplastic Surgery

What is Oncoplastic Surgery?

Undergoing treatment for breast cancer is never easy. It can be a relief to know you have options to help you look and feel your best after breast cancer surgery.

Oncoplastic surgery, also called oncoplasty, is a new technique that combines the latest in plastic surgery with breast surgical oncology. In one procedure, your tumor is removed, and your remaining breast tissue is reshaped, so you retain a more natural breast appearance and symmetry.

Traditional breast cancer surgery can result in breast indentations and unevenness. Oncoplasty addresses the significant impact this can have on body image and self-esteem by removing cancer cells as completely as other types of breast cancer surgery while achieving the best appearance possible. You can be confident about both your treatment and how you’ll look after it’s completed.

Oncoplastic surgery is a leading-edge technique that requires advanced skills and training. And it’s available to you here, close to home, at the world-class Adventist Health AIS Cancer Center.

Is Oncoplastic Surgery Right for You?

Many women, but not all, can benefit from oncoplastic surgery. Oncoplasty most often is performed on women who undergo a lumpectomy, also known as a partial mastectomy or breast-conserving surgery. Women who need a full mastectomy or complete removal of the breast have other reconstructive options that can restore an attractive shape and appearance.

While oncoplasty can be used with a range of breast types, women with smaller, single tumors and larger breasts are the best candidates. Although the procedure can sometimes be performed on patients with smaller breasts, women with small breasts or those who have had more than one lumpectomy may not be eligible for oncoplasty. The location of your tumor also may play a role in determining whether oncoplastic surgery is right for you.

Your skilled surgeons and breast oncology experts at the Adventist Health AIS Cancer Center will explain all your options and make sure you fully understand them so you can choose the best treatment for your individual needs.

What Are the Benefits of Oncoplastic Surgery?

While fighting breast cancer and regaining health is your top priority, changes to your appearance after breast cancer surgery can have a significant impact on your overall well-being. Oncoplastic surgery addresses the physical, emotional and psychological aspects of breast cancer surgery with benefits that include:

  • Complete cancer removal with the best possible cosmetic outcome

Oncoplastic surgery removes all your cancerous cells while leaving you with a pleasing, natural-looking breast shape. Because even larger tumors can be removed while preserving your breast, oncoplasty offers a new option for women who might otherwise have needed a mastectomy. Additionally, radiation therapy, if you need it, can make indentations or distortions from lumpectomy more difficult to correct later. Oncoplasty completes your breast reconstruction before radiation therapy begins.

  • A single surgery with a shorter recovery time

Oncoplastic surgery combines the removal of your tumor with immediate reconstruction using your own, remaining breast tissue, all in one surgery. Often, it’s done as an outpatient procedure, so you go home the same day and have an easier, shorter recovery time. And just one surgery means less scarring.

  • You feel “whole” immediately after surgery, with a breast that looks and feels natural

Many times, with oncoplastic surgery, scars are nearly unnoticeable and your nipple remains intact, resulting in a natural look with little or no loss of sensation. Rather than spending months between cancer removal and reconstructive surgery, you feel “normal” right away.

  • The non-cancerous breast can be reshaped at the same time so your breasts are symmetrical

Because tissue is removed during cancer surgery, your breast becomes smaller. This can result in your breasts being different sizes or shapes. During oncoplastic surgery, you can choose to have your non-cancerous breast reduced and lifted at the same time, so both breasts look even and natural.

Why choose the Breast Center at Adventist Health Bakersfield?

Every day, women fighting breast cancer come to the Breast Center at Adventist Health Bakersfield’s AIS Cancer Center for help, hope and healing. We’re Kern County’s only Comprehensive Community Cancer Program as designated by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. That means our team of experts delivers truly leading-edge care, right here in your community.

We balance the best in medical technology and advanced treatments with compassionate, whole-person care. A supportive nurse navigator will guide you every step of the way. Your entire care team has a wealth of knowledge, in-depth experience and a sincere empathy for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of women diagnosed with breast cancer.

Our Breast Center is fully accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), a certification given only to centers that demonstrate the highest quality through ongoing, rigorous evaluation of their performance. The American College of Radiology also has accredited us as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence. Additionally, our affiliation with UC Davis Medical Center gives your care experts access to even more specialized knowledge and leading-edge resources.

We know that facing cancer is difficult. We also know that breast cancer can be beaten. For more information about how we can help, call us at 661-323-4673 today.

Meet Our Specialists

Connie Lee, MD

Dr. Lee is a board-certified breast surgical oncologist who works with breast cancer patients from initial diagnosis through treatment. A passionate patient advocate, she specializes in the oncoplastic surgery procedure and offers it as one option for women who need breast cancer surgery. A graduate of the Brown University Medical School in Rhode Island and the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Dr. Lee completed a fellowship in breast surgical oncology at USC University Hospital in Los Angeles.

Dr. Lee received specialized training in oncoplastic surgery under the direction of Melvin Silverstein, MD, at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, a world-renowned breast surgical oncologist and oncoplastic surgeon. She also is a member of the American Society of Breast Surgeons.

Francesca Hoehne, MD

Dr. Hoehne is a board-certified surgeon specializing in the treatment of benign and malignant breast disease. She focuses solely on the treatment of breast diseases, particularly cancer therapy, using leading-edge techniques that include sentinel lymph node biopsy, breast-conserving therapy and partial breast irradiation (MammoSite®) placement. She also offers genetic testing or screening.

Dr. Hoehne completed her medical training at Occidental College in Los Angeles and the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, followed by residency at Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield. She went on to complete a breast surgery fellowship at the John Wayne Cancer Institute under the direction of Armando Giuliano, MD, a pre-eminent breast cancer clinician and researcher.

Dr. Hoehne is a member of the American College of Surgeons, American Society of Breast Diseases and American Society of Breast Surgeons.