Wollongong Private Hospital
Part of Ramsay Health Care


Abdominal Based Breast Reconstruction Surgery now at Wollongong Private Hospital

Oct 19, 2017

Women considering breast reconstruction options following a mastectomy would previously have travelled to Southern Sydney hospitals to undergo abdominal based surgery. Now Wollongong Private Hospital offers the procedure locally to privately insured patients in the Illawarra.

Abdominal based breast reconstruction surgery (TRAM/ DIEP Flap) involves moving a flap of skin and fat from the abdomen and then transferring it to the chest to create a breast mound. Using microsurgical techniques, small blood vessels in the chest are joined to ensure the flap’s survival.

The complex cosmetic procedure is performed by Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon, Dr Adrian Sjarif. Dr Sjarif says the procedure could be appropriate for many women considering breast surgery who would prefer not to take the traditional path of using an artificial implant in their body - but it is particularly useful for women who have had radiation treatment to the chest and 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% higher risk of complications. These complications 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.”

The length of surgery and recovery time from an abdominal breast reconstruction procedure can generally be longer however, for many breast cancer survivors the advantages far outweigh the prospect of extra downtime.

Wollongong Private Hospital CEO, David Crowe, says that 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.”