New service at Wollongong Private Hospital

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Illawarra women facing a breast reconstruction after cancer now have more surgical options available to them that might also reduce risk associated with further treatment.

Wollongong Private Hospital now offers abdominal based breast reconstruction, a surgery that uses abdominal skin and fat to create the breast mound. Small blood vessels in the chest are then joined to the mound to ensure its survival.

Previously Illawarra women had to travel to Sydney to access the surgery.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, Dr Adrian Sjarif said the procedure has a reduced risk for women who are likely to need radiation treatment in the future to reduce the risk of breast cancer returning.

“The use of silicone breast implants under irradiated skin has a 30-50 percent higher risk of complications. These can include infection, capsular contracture, implant failure and poor cosmetic outcomes.

“Because the tissue is taken from the patient’s own body, the risk of complication is significantly reduced. There are no implant associated problems such as the body rejecting the implant. The surgery also offers better cosmetic outcomes with the reconstructed breast behaving like a normal breast would – sitting more naturally and fluctuating as the woman’s weight fluctuates,” said Dr Sjarif.

The length of the surgery and recovery time from an abdominal based breast reconstruction procedure can generally be longer, but the benefits often outweigh the longer recovery time.

Wollongong Private Hospital CEO, David Crowe said he is pleased to be able to provide yet another high demand service to Illawarra residents.

“Adding this procedure to the hospital’s capabilities is a perfect fit for the facility and our patient’s needs. Together with the specialist breast cancer treatment and support services offered at our Day Oncology Unit, the hospital is continuing to grow its breast care offering,” said Mr Crowe.

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