Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Breast surgery

Breast surgery is defined as any medical procedure that penetrates beyond the surface of breast skin. Breast surgery ranges from procedures as limited as a needle biopsy, to something as complex as microsurgical post-mastectomy breast reconstruction.

Breast surgery can be defined in two broad categories:

  • • Procedures to diagnose and treat breast disease includ- ing cancer and benign cysts, tumors, and growths
  • • Procedures to change the appearance of a breast, including restoring the absence of a breast, increase or decrease in breast size, or revision of breast shape and position 
Recently, however, a third category of breast surgery has emerged: surgery to prevent breast disease. While prophylactic bilateral mastectomy has been elected as early as the 1980s to significantly reduce a woman’s chances for developing breast cancer, it only recently has become an accepted practice in the prevention of breast disease in women who are carriers of the breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2. Studies show that there is a 90% reduction in the incidence of breast can- cer among these women. However, recent studies have demonstrated that even women who are not carriers of the breast cancer gene can, in fact, reduce their chances of developing breast cancer. 

In a study published in the June 2004 issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, women with overly large breasts and without the pres- ence of certain genetic factors relative to breast cancer who underwent breast reduction were found to have a reported 50% to 70% reduction in the incidence of breast cancer.

Beyond the categories of breast surgery to either treat disease or change appearance, breast surgery can also be defined by medical specialty:
• General breast surgery: to diagnose and treat breast disease through the removal of the entire breast, or only of diseased tissue, tumors, or cysts
• Plastic surgery of the breast: any surgical procedure that changes or restores the appearance of the breast, including those procedures to treat and pre- vent breast disease that result in the change of breast appearance

100 questions and answers about breast surgery / Joseph J. Disa, Marie Czenko Kuechel.— 1st ed. p. cm.
ISBN 0-7637-3041-6 (pbk.)
1. Breast—Surgery—Popular works. I. Title: One hundred questions and answers about breast
surgery. II. Kuechel, Marie Czenko. III. Title. RD539.8.D57 2006

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