In this medical video find out about a minimally invasive breast reconstruction procedure.
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Jennifer Matthews: Two years ago, Penny Pavlica thought she was having surgery to remove a cyst. Penny Pavlica: Well, when they went in to remove the cyst, they found cancer underneath it. Jennifer Matthews: Doctors performed a lumpectomy. It's considered a breast-conserving procedure, but shrinkage and tightness from radiation can cause significant deformity. Dr. Aldona Spiegel: I find that women that have a significant deformity after breast conservation are equal to women that have had a complete mastectomy in the way they feel about themselves. Jennifer Matthews: The unusual shape of the missing area and skin make an implant impractical, so Doctor Spiegel offers women another option. Dr. Aldona Spiegel: We're essentially using the skin and the fat from the abdominal area and matching it to whatever is required to reconstruct the area where the tumor was taken from. Jennifer Matthews: Doctor Spiegel says, unlike other reconstruction procedures, this procedure leaves the abdomen muscles intact. Dr. Aldona Spiegel: We're climbing and trying to strive for a minimally-invasive surgery with the best benefit and the least loss of function. Jennifer Matthews: Less cutting also means faster recovery. Most patients are back to regular activities in four weeks. Penny went back to running in just five weeks, and today, only has one regret. Penny Pavlica: I wish that I would not have waited a year to have it done. Jennifer Matthews: This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.