Hidden ScarTM Breast Cancer Surgery
One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. This insidious disease will affect most of us, whether directly or indirectly. Of course, the most important aspect of breast cancer surgery is the removal of cancerous cells to ensure the disease does not recur. However, breast cancer surgery often leaves visible scars that serve as a reminder to the patient of this traumatic time in their life. Some patients thrive on their scars, using them as an empowerment tool, while others change their lifestyle and habits as a result of the scars. For the latter, breast cancer surgery technique, until now, hasn’t placed enough emphasis on minimizing or eliminating visible scarring.
Hidden Scar Breast Cancer Surgery addresses the very real physical and psychological issues associated with scars after the procedure. By accessing breast tissue from anatomical locations that minimize potential scarring, breast cancer patients are often left with only the slightest trace of surgery. In most cases, there’s no visible scarring at all. Best of all, the therapeutic results are no different from the proven traditional techniques employed today – Hence, the effectiveness of the procedure is not compromised.
The Procedures We Perform
Hidden Scar Breast Cancer Surgery can be performed on qualifying patients for certain procedures including:
Nipple sparing mastectomy
A nipple sparing mastectomy involves the removal of breast tissue due to cancer, but preserves the nipple for improved cosmetic results during the breast reconstruction process. If there is no cancerous involvement in the nipple and certain other criteria are met, Hidden Scar Surgery may be an option. In these cases, the breast tissue is accessed via the fold under the breast, making the scar invisible during normal circumstances.
Partial mastectomy or lumpectomy
A partial mastectomy or lumpectomy, where a small amount of tissue containing cancer is removed from the breast, may be suitable for the Hidden Scar Surgery technique. Qualifying patients have several options depending on the location of the cancer. First, the breast can be accessed from the underarm – this is known as an axillary approach. The lump can also be removed by making the incision on the very edge of the areola. Finally, as with the nipple-sparing mastectomy, the lump can be accessed from the natural fold under the breast.
Hidden Scar Surgery is a technique that requires specialized training. Dr. Dusty Smith completed her Certificate of Training in 2018 and can offer qualified patients this option.
Risks and considerations of hidden scar surgery
While this technique is relatively new, many of the surgical principles employed have been proven for the treatment of other conditions. For example, axillary approach is a proven option for thyroid surgery. Preliminary data shows that there is no increased risk or greater chance of recurrence using Hidden Scar techniques. Ultimately, the skill and knowledge of an experienced breast surgeon such as Dr. Dusty Smith is critical to the minimization of risks.
This new technique does not eliminate the general risks of surgery. During consultation, patients will discuss their surgical options with Dr. Smith and learn more about the unique benefits and risks that may apply to their particular case.
We encourage any patient interested in Hidden Scar Surgery to contact our office and schedule a consultation with Dr. Smith to learn more about their breast cancer surgery options.