PhD Conferral Mr. Jop Beugels, MSc.
Supervisor: prof.dr. R.R.W.J. van der Hulst
Co-supervisors: Dr. S.M.H. Tuinder; dr. E.M. Heuts
“Shaping the future of autologous breast reconstruction – On complications, innovative techniques and restoring sensation”
Breast cancer has a major impact on the lives of many women. Breast reconstruction has become an integral part of breast cancer treatment. This dissertation evaluates the current breast reconstruction techniques with its own tissue, describes new breast reconstruction techniques and investigates the recovery of the feeling of the reconstructed breast. The main aim of this thesis was to further improve the technique of breast reconstruction with its own tissue and to restore the feeling of the breast. The lateral thigh perforator (LTP) patch of the femur and the stacked hemiabdominal extended perforator (SHAEP) patch of the abdomen were introduced as good options for breast reconstruction. The technique to restore an emotional nerve in breast reconstructions with own tissue was described and the results were analyzed. The findings of this thesis indicate a significantly better feeling of the reconstructed breast if an emotional nerve is restored. Finally, the location of the feeling of the breast in the cerebral cortex is demonstrated by functional MRI examination, which can be of great value to better understand the recovery of the feeling after breast surgery.