The new frontiers of Plastic Surgery

Mastoplasty with autologous fat of the patient

Thanks to the improvement of surgical techniques, and the continuous updating of highly qualified specialists, today we are talking about breast cancer surgery, able to restore breast cancer to women who have their own body integrity. “Plastic surgery can no longer be considered an integral part, but presupposed in the complex mechanism of breast care, where illness and self-perception intertwine each other” says Dr. Feliciano Ciccarelli, Specialist in Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery in Naples.

Dr. Ciccarelli, what does the department that you run take care of?

The Department of Plastic Surgery of the Villa dei Fiori di Acerra Nursing Home (Naples) has several areas of interest, ranging from traumatology to cosmetic surgery. The one that required the greatest organizational effort, with exchanges with Italian and foreign centers, is mammary reconstruction, which in Campania records about 30% less interventions than the national average (PNE 2016). We have also established an interdisciplinary group with oncologists, radiotherapists, anatomopathologists and geneticists from the best centers, with whom we discuss all aspects of each case.

Today the intervention for breast cancer must necessarily tend to the contextual reconstruction of the breast involved. In this way, is it possible to restore complete bodily integrity to women?

Absolutely yes. In Italy today, there are about 800,000 women with a previous diagnosis of cancer or who are facing it. The 5-year survival ranges from 87% to 95% and it is now inconceivable not to offer an opportunity for reconstruction. I learned that the breast, beyond the aesthetic perception, for the woman represents maternity, dialogue, open relationship. In the last 15 years the reconstructive approach has shown a constant growth trend. The collaboration between general and plastic surgeons is fundamental for being oncologically radical and at the same time illustrating the reconstructive possibilities.

The reconstruction can be performed by inserting prostheses or using autologous tissues of the patient. What method do you prefer?

The use of autologous tissue, although technically more complex, is always preferable, where possible, because it guarantees more natural results and reduces the problems related to the use of prostheses, such as contractures, infections or unnatural results. Our challenge is that one of our patients, once healed from the tumor, returns to fully live their femininity.

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