Background: This study presents a novel Level I oncoplastic breast-conserving surgery technique for performing tumorectomy by retroglandular exploration through a skin incision made in the inferior mammary fold.
Patients and methods: A retrospective single-center cohort study involving patients with early-stage breast cancer (n = 102) was performed. The patient characteristics were recorded, as well as the quality of life rated by BREAST-Q. Postoperative complications were assessed using the Clavien-Dindo classification system. Esthetic outcomes were evaluated with Breast Cancer Conservative Treatment-cosmetic results (BCCT.core) software and a 5-point Likert scale.
Results: The median follow-up time was 11 months (range, 7-25 months). The median specimen weight and operative time were 49.8 g (range, 13.4-117.9 g) and 40 minutes (range, 20-80 minutes), respectively. The mean pathologic tumor size was 15 mm (SD, ±7). Owing to positive surgical margins, re-excisions and mastectomies were performed in 13.7% and 2.9% of patients, respectively. The overall complication rate was 24.5% (n = 25), with the most common being seroma formation (13.7%; n = 14). The median Likert scale score was 4.3 (range, 2.1-5), and the median overall esthetic outcome assessed by BCCT.core was 2.1 points (range, 1-4 points). In BREAST-Q domains, the median scores of the "adverse effects of radiation," "physical well-being," the "satisfaction with breasts," and the "psychosocial well-being" were 27, 35, 90, and 93, respectively.
Conclusion: Retroglandular oncoplastic breast-conserving surgery is a novel, effective Level I oncoplastic technique for radical resection of breast tumors ≤ 3 cm in size. Additional advantages include the preservation of natural breast shape, the safety of the technique, and the lack of a need for contralateral symmetrization.
Keywords: Breast-conserving surgical technique; Level I oncoplasty; Modern breast surgery; Oncoplastic breast-conserving surgery; Retroglandular tumorectomy technique.
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