Training oncoplastic breast surgeons: the Canadian fellowship experience

J. Maxwell, A. Aranaout, R. Hanrahan, M. Brackstone

Abstract


Background

Oncoplastic breast surgery combines traditional oncologic breast conservation with plastic surgery techniques to achieve improved aesthetic and quality-of-life outcomes without sacrificing oncologic safety. Clinical uptake and training remain limited in the Canadian surgical system. In the present article, we detail the current state of oncoplastic surgery (ops) training in Canada, the United States, and worldwide, as well as the experience of a Canadian clinical fellow in ops.

Methods

The clinical fellow undertook a 9-month audit of breast surgical cases. All cases performed during the fellow’s ops fellowship were included. The fellowship ran from October 2015 to June 2016.

Results

During the 9 months of the fellowship, 67 mastectomies were completed (30 simple, 17 modified radical, 12 skin-sparing, and 8 nipple-sparing). The fellow participated in 13 breast reconstructions. Of 126 lumpectomies completed, 79 incorporated oncoplastic techniques.

Conclusions

The experience of the most recent ops clinical fellow suggests that Canadian ops training is feasible and achievable. Commentary on the current state of Canadian ops training suggests areas for improvement. Oncoplastic surgery is an important skill for breast surgical oncologists, and access to training should be improved for Canadian surgeons.


Keywords


Oncoplastic breast surgery; breast conservation; surgical education; breast reconstruction; clinical Fellowships; breast cancer

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3747/co.24.3554






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ISSN: 1198-0052 (Print) ISSN: 1718-7729 (Online)