What is Post Cancer Reconstruction?

Post Cancer Reconstruction is a type of reconstructive plastic surgery for those who have undergone treatment for cancer such as head, neck and pelvic cancer, breast cancer, skin cancer, sarcoma, etc.

Effects of Post Cancer Reconstruction

Post Cancer Reconstruction greatly improves a patient’s appearance and most importantly, the quality of life.

Candidates for Post Cancer Reconstruction

The best candidates for this procedure are those who have undergone treatment for cancer such as head, neck, pelvis cancer, sarcoma or breast cancer.

Your Consultation

During the consultation, BHMG’s Board Certified Surgeon will take a complete medical history of the patient and conduct a careful examination to evaluate overall health.

Photographs will be taken before and after surgery.

Antibiotics will be prescribed at the time of surgery to prevent infections. Also, avoid taking drugs containing aspirin to minimize the possibility of excess bleeding. The use of an antiseptic soap in the shower the night before or the morning of the surgery may also be recommended.

The Post Cancer Reconstruction Surgery Procedure

Breast Cancer

Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer Reconstruction options are dependent on the cancer’s severity and location. This procedure can range from simple closure to flaps. This includes:

  • Excise and closure.
  • Excision with skin graft: After an excision is made, a skin graft is used to repair the area excised. A skin graft is actually a thin piece of skin that is taken from an area and then placed on a prepared recipient site.
  • Local Flap: A local tissue rearrangement is used for defects that are larger. The tissue used is moved from an area that is adjacent to the wound. This is done following an excision.
  • Free Flap: A free flap is utilized when there is insufficient local tissue. A free flap could be a piece of skin, fat, or muscle which is totally removed from a donor site. The flap is with an artery and a vein and when transferred to the recipient site, the artery and the vein are connected to the vessels in that area. Trimming and suturing of the flap in place is done.

Sarcoma

Sarcoma is a cancer of the connective or supportive tissue. These types of tissue include muscle, bone, cartilage, fat and blood vessels. Severity, size and location of the cancer are some of the factors which determine the reconstruction options of the patient. Some of the options available to the patient are simple closure, use of skin grafts, and rearrangement of tissue with the use of local flaps, pedicle flaps, or free flaps.

  • Simple Closure: After an excision has been made, the area is closed with a suture.
  • Skin Graft: A layer of skin that is thin is taken from a donor area then positioned on a set recipient site.
  • Local Flap: The rearrangement of tissue that is located adjacent to the wound.
  • Pedicle Flap: This is the kind of flap wherein tissue is moved on a vascular pedicle, that is, an artery and a vein which will be connected to the recipient site’s artery and vein. This will then be sutures into place at the recipient site.
  • Free Flap: This is the total removal of a piece of tissue from the donor site together win an artery and vein and then connected to the artery and vein at the recipient site.

Head and Neck Cancer

Here are some of the plastic surgery options for patients who had head and neck cancer:

  • Primary Closure with skin graft: A thin layer of skin which is taken from the donor area is placed on a prepared recipient site.
  • Local Flap: The rearrangement of tissue that is located adjacent to the wound.
  • Pedicle Flap: This is tissue moved on a vascular pedicle and then is sutured into place at the recipient site. This is where an artery and a vein will be connected to an artery and vein located at the recipient site.
  • Free Flap: use of tissue which is totally removed from its donor site together with an artery and a vein then connected to an artery and a vein located at the recipient site

Pelvic Cancer

The following are options for patients who have had pelvic cancer:

  • Local Flap: The rearrangement of tissue that is located adjacent to the wound
  • Free Flap: use of tissue which is totally removed from its donor site together with an artery and
  • a vein then connected to an artery and a vein located at the recipient site

Recovery

The recovery from Post Cancer Reconstruction surgery differs from patient to patient, depending on the extent of the surgery and also the specifics of each patient.

Risks

It is the patient’s responsibility to notify the surgeon of important medical information that may greatly affect the result of the surgery or increase risks in doing the procedure. Inform the surgeon of any medications that you are taking, any history of disease or medical complications, etc. Both risk and risk rates differ from each patient, depending on a variety of factors.

FAQs

Who are the best candidates for Post Cancer Reconstruction?

Good candidates for this surgery are those who have undergone treatments for cancer such as head, neck, pelvis cancer, sarcoma or breast cancer.

What are the risks of undergoing this surgery?

All surgery has risks and your surgeon will discuss these with you during your consultation. But risks and risk rates vary from one patient to another, depending on different factors.

What are the different types of procedures available for the Post Cancer Reconstruction surgery?

There are several options for Post Cancer Reconstruction surgery. Skin Cancer Reconstruction options are dependent on the cancer’s severity and location. This procedure can range from simple closure to flaps. For sarcoma, some of the options available to the patient are simple closure, use of skin grafts, and rearrangement of tissue with the use of local flaps, pedicle flaps or free flaps. While those who have undergone head and neck treatments can choose from primary closure with skin graft, local flaps, pedicle flaps and free flaps. Pelvic cancer patients can select between local flaps and free flaps.