Breast Cancer Surgeon
For many women, the first time they even consider the role of a breast cancer surgeon is when they are referred to one by their general practitioner or family practice doctor. This may be due to an irregular mammogram result or some other underlying problem in the breast, and it is only natural to feel some apprehension.
What Is A Breast Surgeon (Breast Cancer Surgeon)?
A breast surgeon is usually a skilled general surgeon who has chosen to specialize in the field of surgical oncology with a focus on breast cancer and breast disease. For many surgeons, this leads to exclusively working or dealing with breast issues, and no longer practicing other forms of surgery. A breast surgeon differs from a plastic surgeon in that their primary specialty is dealing with breast cancer surgery and diseases of the breast and not cosmetic, elective breast surgeries, though cosmetic outcomes and breast conserving surgery are always our goals.
Although breast surgeons perform large numbers of operations, surgical options are not the only types of treatment available. The various types of treatment and their combinations are something that every patient should be made aware of. Their breast cancer surgeon should provide the opportunity to discuss any and all options before any final treatment decision is made.
A breast surgeon undertakes significant training in surgical oncology, which includes being trained in both diagnosis and treatment. This enables them to evaluate and then treat patients. This process includes, but is not limited to, assisting women who are suffering from breast pain, reviewing and explaining diagnostic test results to patients, and treating lumps, cysts, and other breast abnormalities.
The treatment for many of these problems has altered significantly in recent years, thanks to breast cancer research, advances in technology, and growing knowledge and understanding. Dr. Gorman believes in utilizing a holistic approach in patient care and treatment, which is why she personally treats all of her patients from the first appointment, so they feel confident and develop trust with their breast cancer surgeon.
Dr. Gorman is always keen to provide a comprehensive treatment plan. Each case is unique, and a recommended plan will be created that is tailored and optimized for your personal health situation. She regularly utilizes breast ultrasound screening to provide her with as much information as possible, as early as possible. After all, early detection offers the best possible results.
A good breast surgeon has three priorities:
- Deal with the initial problem professionally to minimize or remove the problem
- Consider and evaluate all of the treatment options and their likelihood of success before contemplating surgery
- If surgery is needed, then implement a breast-conserving surgery to reduce the impact on cosmetic appearance post operation.
The American Society of Breast Surgeons
Although not all breast surgeons are members of the American Society of Breast Surgeons, any breast surgeon who has chosen to become a member is demonstrating their commitment and particular interest in breast surgery. As a member, medical professionals have access to the latest educational training through an exclusive website, can attend the annual conference, and even have the opportunity to enroll in the Breast Education Self-Assessment Program focusing on breast cancer prevention.
Dr. Gorman is a proud member of the American Society of Breast Surgeons, alongside some of the top cancer doctors in the country.
Why Choose Dr. Gorman As Your Breast Surgeon?
Valerie Gorman, MD FACS, has been a board-certified breast surgeon for many years, and in that time has developed a great deal of knowledge and experience. She was trained at UT Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, Texas, a school renowned for their cancer research. For Dr. Gorman, continuity and the confidence and understanding of the patient are essential to ensuring that the best results are achieved.
As a new patient attending your first visit, and every subsequent visit, you will be seen by Dr. Gorman. Continual care, support, and explanations are the foundation of every treatment option offered at Texas Breast Center.
On your first visit, Dr. Gorman will provide an examination and extrapolate all of the relevant information from your mammogram and other breast imaging. She will then slowly walk you through the findings of those results, and what they mean for your diagnosis, using everyday language. This will then form the basis of the discussion of your treatments, with the various options and choices being explained, providing suggestions and answering any questions that you may have. Every patient will react differently to the situation, which is why you are given the time to ask those questions in a comfortable environment.
If surgery is the best form of treatment available in the circumstance, then Dr. Gorman will explain where she would contemplate performing the surgery while always striving for breast-conserving surgeries when possible. This gives the patient a better understanding of the potential scars that will remain, although Dr. Gorman will, where possible, attempt a minimal-scarring method and try to ensure that the scars are in the least visible areas of the body as possible. This procedure is called Hidden Scar™ Breast Surgery.
Dr. Gorman is one of a handful of breast surgeons performing this procedure in North Texas. The incision may be placed underneath the armpit or directly underneath the breast where the breast meets the body. It is this type of planning and attention to detail—concern about both overcoming cancer and the cosmetic outcomes—that many of her patients have commented positively on over the years. If breast reconstruction may be needed in the future, this will also be discussed with the patient.
We know your post-surgical appearance matters to you, and for this reason, Dr. Gorman partners with one of the leading plastic surgeons in the area for breast reconstruction, Dr. Jason Potter, MD, DDS. Dr. Potter is double board-certified, with his advanced surgical training focusing on reconstructive plastic surgery. This partnership reiterates Dr. Gorman’s commitment to her patients and their surgical success in healing from cancer.
In addition, Dr. Gorman is one of the few surgeons who utilize oncoplastic techniques for maintaining an aesthetically natural breast contour while performing the radical resection of the tumor in patients with breast cancer.
There are many factors to be considered when discussing the treatment of breast diseases, including cancer. An excellent breast surgeon not only needs to have the technical skills and expertise to master this delicate, and often complicated, surgery, but that surgeon also needs to have the capacity to meet the emotional needs of their patient as well. Any and all forms of surgery can be very daunting for the patient, but for many women, breast surgery can be both emotionally and physically demanding. This is why choosing a surgeon with whom you have built a good connection is so vital. This is why Dr. Gorman places such value on building relationships with her patients and continuing to provide that connection post-operation.
Continual Training and Learning
Medicine, by its very nature, is constantly evolving and changing, and new treatments, cancer prevention information, and breast cancer research breakthroughs are continually being discovered. Dr. Gorman is a passionate and enthusiastic student of medicine and has always sought to make continuing medical education a priority. She strives to keep up to date with all of the latest advances in medicine and clinical oncology for the benefit of her patients. This includes reading medical journals and other publications, conducting research of her own, and attending medical conventions where the latest medical breakthroughs are demonstrated and explained.
Dr. Gorman is passionate about the treatments she performs and focuses on delivering a high standard of treatment and care from the first time her patients walk through the door. She surrounds herself with an excellent multi-disciplinary team, including a medical oncologist, a radiation oncologist, and a plastic surgeon. A breast cancer team that includes specialists such as a breast surgeon, a medical oncologist, a radiation oncologist, a plastic surgeon, and a genetic counselor has been shown to lead to better outcomes and patient experience.
While a breast surgeon needs to be a very skilled surgeon, the importance of building trust and understanding cannot be underestimated. This is what Dr. Gorman strives for with every patient. Contact our team today, and request an appointment with Texas Breast Center.
More FAQ’s about Breast Cancer Surgeons
What is the difference between a general surgeon and a surgical oncologist?
A surgical oncologist (breast cancer surgeon) focuses their practice on breast cancer surgery, whereas a general surgeon may perform a variety of cancer operations in addition to non-cancer-related treatments and general surgery. A surgical oncologist has specialized training in the treatment of cancer patients.
What are breast cancer surgeons called?
Breast cancer surgeons are called surgical oncologists and focus on breast cancer treatment.
What are Breast Cancer Surgeon specialties and expertise?
The expertise a breast cancer surgeon brings to the table (literally) might vary greatly. One surgeon might specialize in several oncological subspecialties. A general surgeon—rather than a breast cancer surgeon—may carry out operations like a surgical biopsy or a lumpectomy in certain hospitals, especially smaller ones.
Surgical oncology clinics that specialize in breast surgery are more specialized than many other surgeons in carrying out a broad range of both routine and uncommon operations on your specific diagnosis. This is why most medical oncologists will refer you to a breast surgeon for these types of procedures. A few examples of procedures that surgical oncologists may specialize in are:
- Lumpectomy (removal of a tumor and some surrounding tissue)
- Total mastectomy (also called a simple mastectomy; removal of the entire breast, including the nipple and areola)
- Quadranectomy (a partial mastectomy involving the removal of a quarter of your breast tissue)
- Skin-sparing mastectomy (in which the skin of the breast is preserved but not the nipple or areola)
- Nipple-sparing mastectomy (removal of breast tissue through an incision that preserves the nipple and areola)
- Sentinel node biopsy (a sentinel node biopsy involves the minimally invasive removal of the first few lymph nodes in the underarm)
- Dissection of axillary lymph node (the axillary lymph node removal under the arm)
- Breast reconstruction
- Breast conserving surgeries