Traditional mastectomies are the surgical removal of a portion or the entire breast when large areas of breast cancer are detected. This procedure is most often followed by breast reconstruction to restore the shape and look of the breast after the malignant tissue has been removed. We offer two variations of this procedure depending on your condition and specific needs. Nipple-sparing mastectomies allow the surgeon to preserve all the skin of the breast including the nipple and the areola. Like a traditional mastectomy nearly all the inner tissue of the breast is removed except for a thin layer of fat and blood vessels needed to keep the skin healthy. Immediate breast reconstruction follows to create a breast that looks the same, if not better, then the original. Thousands of women elect this procedure when diagnosed, or if they’re genetically prone to breast cancer.
Many women who aren’t candidates for nipple-sparing mastectomies choose a skin-sparing mastectomy. This procedure preserves as much of the original breast skin as possible by removing the nipple and areola. The breast tissue is removed through this small hole, leaving a pouch that can accommodate a breast implant or reconstruction comfortably. Like any other mastectomy, the reconstruction can be immediate and occur during the same procedure.
A sentinel lymph node biopsy is a surgical procedure used to determine if the malignancy has spread beyond the initial tumor and into your lymphatic system. The sentinel lymph node, located under your arm, is often the place where cancer cells spread. During pre-surgical exams, our doctors will identify the lymph node that needs to be removed. On surgery day your radiologist will inject a small tracer and dye into the breast that will move to and highlight the affected lymph node. During the procedure, you’ll be given a sedative and anesthetic to alleviate any discomfort while the node is removed. The node will be analyzed, and if cancerous growth is detected, your doctor may recommend further surgeries or treatments.
Lumpectomy is typically less invasive than mastectomy and is an ideal solution for patients who have a small lump of five centimeters or less that needs to be removed. Lumpectomy may or may not require preoperative imaging based on the location of the abnormal tissue. During the procedure, your surgeon will remove the abnormal tissue along with some surrounding tissue for examination. Lumpectomies typically leave minimal scarring and won’t leave your breast misshapen. Depending on your results, further treatment options may be required.
Breast reconstruction is a common secondary procedure that immediately follows any mastectomy. Our surgeons have the skill and expertise to reconstruct your breasts to a normal and healthy shape, feel, and appearance. During this one-stage procedure a plastic surgeon will put the new breast implant into place immediately following the mastectomy. These implants are typically placed behind the muscles of your breasts and held in place by a soft-tissue graft.
Occasionally a two-stage reconstructive procedure is required if your surgeon decides there will not be enough skin to support the new implant right away. Your surgeon will inject, at intervals over time, small amounts of saline water into the breast cavity that will safely and gradually expand the breast skin. Once enough expansion has occurred, the implant will be inserted, creating a natural looking and comfortable breast shape. We’re happy to go over our reconstruction options with you, and we’ll ensure all of your questions are answered. Contact us today.
More importantly, our team of world-renowned surgeons have saved countless lives, and have enabled countless more to live healthy, happy lives.