As a part of Cancer treatment, many times a body part is removed which may affect that organs’ function as well as appearance drastically. The main aim of plastic surgical treatment in such cases are to restore function and appearance of these body parts to a normal extent back. For example in oral cancers, when tumor part is removed without proper plastic surgery, swallowing, speech and facial appearance is affected to a major extent.
The most common and latest techniques utilizable for reconstruction of cancer area is called Free microvascular tissue transfer (free ﬂap surgery). It’s a kind of tissue transplant like kidney and liver transplant surgery. The main difference is patients own body parts ,mainly skin, muscle or bone along with their supplying blood vessels are taken. These tissues are transferred to required site , ﬁxed with stitches and their supplying blood vessels are joined with local available blood vessels under microscope with the help of ﬁnest sutures which are thinner than even human hairs.
These surgeries should be done by experienced plastic surgeon who is trained speciﬁcally to perform such kind of complex procedures. In hands of such experienced plastic surgeons, these surgeries are quite safe.
Free ﬂaps can be taken from forearm, leg or thigh skin to reconstruct tongue and buccal mucosa. In jaw bone reconstruction, deﬁcient bone is taken from leg bone(ﬁbula).Part of small bowel(Jejunum) is utilized to reconstruct cervical oesophagus.
Those patients who have been already operated for head and neck cancers having facial disﬁgurement can be corrected later on with free ﬂap surgeries or liposuction.
As a part of treatment of breast cancer, when part or whole of the breast is removed, and if reconstruction is not done, a female patient would have lifelong psychological trauma, a trauma of having lost her breast or having deformed breast. Aim of plastic surgical technique is to establish self conﬁdence, identity and femininity by reconstructing new breast with different plastic surgical techniques.
Best results are achieved at the time of breast cancer removal surgery. But those patients who underwent mastectomy already in past, they can undergo Reconstructive Cancer Surgery procedure anytime safely.