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Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Our aim is to have breast patients live a long life, but also to have high quality of life. This includes being comfortable with their bodies. To this end, UC Irvine breast clinicians strive to minimize the disfigurement of breast biopsy and treatments. This involved careful selection of biopsy and treatment strategy along with coordinated plastic and reconstructive surgery after primary treatment has been completed.
For women with large tumors, Dr. Rita Mehta is actively investigating use of neo-adjuvant chemotherapy. This is chemotherapy given after a biopsy, but before surgical removal of any residual tumor. This provides an opportunity to perform a more limited surgery resulting in a better end result. As UC Irvine clinicians and other investigators throughout the country develop better neo-adjuvant therapy regimens, we anticipate that more breast cancer patients will receive this type of therapy, even if they have smaller tumors. It is important to know if a patient’s tumor is responding to such treatment and the development of techniques to do this is an area of intense research at UC Irvine.

For women who need fairly extensive surgery, breast reconstruction is very important. The faculty of the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Division work closely with the breast clinicians and make use of the best plastic and reconstructive surgery techniques including microvascular surgical techniques. For these women, the final result of these procedures is an improved body image and improved quality of life.

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