In recent years, interest in oncoplasty—some combination of oncologic and cosmetic techniques by general surgeons for their breast cancer patients—has surged. Advocates of oncoplastic techniques say that everybody benefits—patients are more satisfied after breast surgery and general surgeons can increase their billing for the procedure, a welcome change from decreased reimbursements for other bread-and-butter cases.

The problem, critics say, is balancing the oncologic and cosmetic outcomes. Does an improvement in cosmesis come at the cost of higher local recurrence rates, or more difficult operations for the many women who have to come back for re-excision? And more fundamentally: Is it fair to patients who have just received a breast cancer diagnosis for a physician to play the role of both oncologic and cosmetic surgeon?

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[Source: General Surgery News]