New Lenox, IL (February 13, 2013) — Silver Cross Hospitalis now performing another revolutionary procedure – oncoplastic breast surgery, which combines the latest plastic surgery techniques with breast surgical oncology. For 46 year-old Hope Barrera having oncoplastic breast surgery enabled her to have her cancerous tissue removed while conserving as much of her breast tissue as possible.
As in Barrera’s case, most women who would need to have a large lumpectomy would be left with a distorted breast. During Oncoplastic Breast Surgery, the lumpectomy defect is immediately reconstructed using the remaining natural breast tissue. The breast is sculpted to realign the nipple and areola, minimize defects, and to restore a natural look to the breast shape. The opposite breast can often be modified to create balance and symmetry.
After not having a mammogram in 5 years, Hope decided to go the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health. Her mammogram results showed what was initially thought to be calcification spots or calcium deposits in her right breast. She then had a biopsy of the deposits. “The Center for Women’s Health staff made me feel so comfortable during my biopsy procedure,” said Romeoville resident Hope Barrera. “They held my hand to calm me down while they explained the details of the procedure.”
It was then determined that her biopsy results were positive indicating the spots were actually malignant. “When I was diagnosed with cancer, instantly I was so scared for myself and the future of my husband, Vincent and our two daughters,” said Barrera. “But through the support I received from the staff at the Center for Women’s Health and my surgeon, Dr. Patricia Clark, I was able to deal with my illness in a positive way.”
At her initial meeting with Dr. Clark, Barrera shared that she had a breast reduction 5 years prior. “As is common for many women, Hope’s breast reduction surgery left her with a lot of scar tissue and abnormal areas identified on her mammogram,” said Patricia Clark, M.D., who is a board certified general surgeon at Silver Cross Hospital. As a result of the previous surgery, scar tissue, and multiple suspicious areas discovered on her breast MRI, Hope’s case was even more complicated to correct. Oncoplastic breast surgery offered the best hope to safely excise all of the lesions without the need for mastectomy.
Careful preoperative planning included review of the previous surgical technique. Dr Clark’s training and experience with breast reduction and mastopexy techniques allowed her to predict the altered blood supply to the breast and design a surgical approach to preserve this while safely removing the lesions. With the help of MRI guided needle localization performed at Silver Cross Hospital, Dr Clark was able to remove the cancer and the remaining suspicious lesions in both breasts through Barrera’s original incisions. Adjacent breast tissue was rearranged to fill the lumpectomy defect caused by removal of the cancer and restore the natural breast shape. The innovative combination of plastic surgery and cancer surgery techniques left Hope with complete excision of her cancer, a very good cosmetic result, and no need for further surgery.
“I am so grateful to Dr. Clark for her excellent surgical skills and ability to successfully perform such a complicated surgery,” said Hope. “I highly recommend others to seek treatment with her. She was also so attentive to my family and me. I just love the way she took care of me.”
Benefits to Oncoplastic Breast Surgery
Benefits for patients who have oncoplastic breast surgery include:
- typically a single surgery,
- generally no use of drains,
- may be outpatient or require one night in the hospital,
- and recovery time is faster than with mastectomy and reconstruction.
Not all patients are suitable candidates for oncoplastic reconstruction but for many oncoplastic techniques reduce the trauma of a breast cancer diagnosis.