A ONE-STOP operation for breast reconstruction as well as cancer removal is available in the Forth Valley thanks to a skilled husband and wife team.

Both consultant oncoplastic surgeons working at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, Ms Lucy Khan and Mr Chris Cartlidge offer the operation at the same time.

They believe that breast preservation is vitally important to people’s recovery, body image and quality of life.

Their techniques can involve breast reconstruction through lipofilling and fat transfer as well as nipple- and skin-sparing mastectomy.

Ms Khan said: “Treating breast cancer in my mind has to be done in a way where the patient can be happy and the surgery is done in the most aesthetic way possible.

“We must continue to present women with the best options possible and recognise that not one size fits all; each woman is very much an individual with treatment tailored to them specifically.”

In lipofilling, also called fat grafting, fat tissues is removed from another part of the body, processed into liquid in a lab and injected into the reconstructed breast to improve its shape and fullness.

With one in seven women expected to develop breast cancer in their lifetime, the surgeons see it crucial to present patients with the best options possible.

They say they are seeing patients with breast cancer at a very early age, recently the due treated a 22-year-old and had seen others in their twenties and thirties.

Mr Cartlidge added: “Nowadays a whole breast can be removed through a small cut in the lower fold of the breast, which is hidden.

“This is very similar to the same type of incision for a breast enlargement.

“The most important thing is treating the cancer well but we also want women to feel confident about their body after treatment.”

The husband and wife team trained at the Edinburgh Breast Unit, one of the busiest of its kind in Europe, under Professor Mike Dixon OBE, highly renowned pioneer in the field of breast conservation, endocrine therapy and complex breast reconstruction.

They are also fellows of the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh.