Current practice and provision of oncoplastic breast conserving surgery in the UK: Results of the ANTHEM National Practice Questionnaire

Charlotte F Davies*, Lisa Whisker, Joanna Skillman, Douglas Macmillan, Chris Holcombe, Pat Fairbrother, Shelley Potter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: Oncoplastic breast conserving surgery (OPBCS) may be a better option than mastectomy +/- immediate breast reconstruction (IBR) for women with breast cancer but studies directly comparing the techniques are lacking. We surveyed UK breast units to determine the current practice of OPBCS to inform the design of a future comparative study.

Methods: An electronic survey was developed to explore the current practice of OPBCS. This included the local availability of volume displacement and/or replacement techniques; numbers of cases performed; contraindications and approach to contralateral symmetrisation. Summary data for each survey item were calculated and overall provision of care examined.

Results: 58 UK centres completed the survey, including 43 (74%) stand-alone breast and 15 (26%) combined breast/plastics units. Over 40% of units (n=24) treated more than 500 cancers/year. Most units offered volume displacement techniques (TMs) (97%). Over two-thirds (n=39. 67%) of units offered local perforator flaps (LPF). Approximately a half of units (10/19) not performing LPF were planning to introduce them in the next 12-24 months. A third (n=19, 33%) of units routinely performed simultaneous contralateral symmetrisation mostly with two-surgeon operating. There were limited oncological restrictions to OPBCS with no contraindications for multifocal cancers in most centres; 65% of units (36/55) offered OPBCS for multicentric disease. Extensive DCIS was a contraindication in a minority of units.

Conclusions: OPBCS is widely available in the UK but contraindications and approaches to contralateral symmetrisation were variable. Work is now needed to prospectively evaluate the outcomes of OPBCS vs mastectomy +/- IBR to support informed decision-making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-170
Number of pages8
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is supported by a National Institute for Health Research Clinician Scientist Award (CS-2016-16-019) to SP. The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the NIHR, NHS or the Department of Health and Social Care.

Funding Information:
This study is funded by the Association of Breast Surgery (ABS) and Above and Beyond Charities (ABL-2019-20-02) and supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) at the University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Bristol and the Royal College of Surgeons of England Bristol Surgical Trials Centre. SP is an NIHR Clinician Scientist (CS-2016-16-019).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


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