Breast cancer surgery involves the surgical removal of a tumour to prevent the spread of the cancer to other parts of the body. The surgical procedure to remove the tumour depends on the size and type of cancer. A/Prof Fosh may excise the tumour as a lump along with a portion of healthy surrounding tissue (wide local excision) or remove the affected breast completely (mastectomy). Lymph glands may also be checked for the presence of cancer and removed during these procedures.
To restore the shape of breasts after mastectomy another surgical procedure called breast reconstruction is performed.
Primary breast reconstruction involves reconstructing the breasts immediately after excising a part or all of the breast. However, immediate breast reconstruction may not be preferred if the patient must undergo radiation therapy after breast cancer surgery. Delayed reconstruction can be performed at any time following removal of a part or the all of the breast if further cancer treatments are not needed. This surgery can be performed even several years following breast removal.
A/Prof Fosh works closely with the plastic surgeons at Adelaide Plastic Surgery, including Dr Amy Jeeves, Dr Nick Marshall and Dr Bernard Carney who all specialise in breast reconstruction.
A/Prof Fosh and Dr Jeeves work closely together with a combined clinic every 2 weeks to consult with their patients and discuss all the options. They have a joint theatre list once a month for patients who require mastectomy and immediate reconstruction.
Dr Amy Jeeves