Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Cancer treatments sometimes damage the function or appearance of a body part but plastic and reconstructive surgery can help repair that damage. At Dignity Health – Cancer Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, our multidisciplinary approach to cancer care focuses on precision medicine while providing reconstructive treatments needed to help our patients feel whole and confident when they need it most. We are experts at cancer care and experts in treating our patients with humankindness.
When Is Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Needed
Reconstructive surgery is most commonly needed after some types of surgery to remove the cancer. The goal of reconstructive surgery and the role of the reconstructive surgeon in cancer treatment is to rebuild or restore fullness in the patient. That can be restoring anatomical wholeness where there might otherwise be a large deformity or defect. Or it can also be restoring your sense of emotional or psychological wholeness. Other times, reconstructive surgery is performed at the time of cancer removal to decrease the chances of developing a problem in the future.
Reconstructive surgery is a very different aspect of cancer care because, instead of taking things away, we’re giving things back.”Peter Wu, MD, MS
Types of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Reconstructive surgery, including microsurgery, is commonly used during and following treatments for:
- Breast cancer
- Head and neck cancer
- Skin cancer
- Pelvic cancers (for example, cervical cancer or colorectal cancer)
- Sarcoma or other soft tissue tumors
- Unintended consequences of cancer treatment, such as lymphedema, wounds, and other deformities