Cancer reconstruction is an integral part of cancer treatment. Cancers invade and involve surrounding structures. They also have the capacity of moving from one body part to another (also called distant metastasis) at which point it mostly becomes incurable.
Cancer surgeons remove the entire cancer along with surrounding normal-looking structures to make sure that the entire disease has been eradicated. Now, this often creates a big defect that cannot be closed, if left as such will lead to severe functional and cosmetic deformity.
For cancer surgeons to remove cancer properly plastic surgeons come in to reconstruct those defects. As reconstruction surgeons, we borrow tissues from nearby or distant areas to fill the defect and prevent functional deficits. At the same time try to make it as normal-looking as possible.
Most following cancers need reconstructions
1. Breast cancers: Local rotation flaps, Lattismus dorsi myocutaneous flaps, Tram Flaps (pedicled and free flaps)
2. Head and neck cancers: Skin Grafts, Local flaps, pedicled flaps, forehead flaps, Pectoralis major myocutaneous flaps, Deltopectoral flaps, Radial forearm free flaps, Anterolateral thigh free flaps, Free fibula osteomyocutaneous flaps.
3. Skin cancers anywhere in the body: Local rotation flaps, Rhomberg's flaps, Advancement flaps, free tissue transfer (RAFF, ALT).
Details of these flaps and reconstructions options are discussed with the patients and Oncosurgeons before the planned procedure. Individualized solutions are made for the patients according to their physical condition and stages of cancer. We will be coming out with videos of individual flaps and their details soon on our channel for you to understand these terms better.