Breast Cancer Surgery
What is Hidden Scar™ Breast Cancer Surgery?
Hidden Scar™ Breast Cancer Surgery is an advanced approach to removing breast cancer while preserving quality of life after surgery by minimizing scars that can have a large impact on a woman’s self-confidence, intimacy, and body image. At Texas Breast Center, we pride ourselves on providing our breast cancer patients with the most advanced surgical options in breast cancer surgery to not only help them with beating cancer but also with their emotional recovery. Dr. Valerie Gorman, MD, FACS, is trained in advanced surgical oncology techniques, and our goal is to give you the best surgical treatment and experience.
Breast cancer can be surgically removed with a mastectomy procedure (your surgeon removes all of your breast tissue) or a lumpectomy procedure (your surgeon will remove only part of your breast tissue). With a Hidden Scar™ Approach, Dr. Gorman places your surgical incision in a location that is hard to see, so that the scar is not visible when your incision heals. As a result, you have little to no visible reminder of the surgery or your cancer.
“NOT ONLY DO I NOT HAVE TO LOOK AT SCARS THAT MAKE ME FEEL EMBARRASSED, BUT MY HUSBAND CAN LOOK AT ME AND NOT EVEN NOTICE THAT I HAD SURGERY.”
Hidden Scar Double Mastectomy
The Hidden Scar™ approach can be performed by breast surgeons for a nipple-sparing mastectomy or a lumpectomy procedure. Patients who undergo the Hidden Scar™ approach do not have a higher risk of cancer recurrence than patients who undergo any other type of technique*. You may qualify for Hidden Scar™ Breast Cancer Surgery based on the size and location of your tumor, your breast shape, and your breast size.
Ask us if you are a candidate for a Hidden Scar™ Breast Cancer Surgery by calling Texas Breast Center at 469-800-9830 to schedule a consultation.
More about Texas Breast Center’s Hidden Scar™ Surgery
The Challenge of Making a Decision
Being diagnosed with breast cancer or making the monumental decision to take preemptive action to prevent such a diagnosis, is one of the scariest challenges anyone will ever face. Many of the women we have talked to have discussed the shock, panic, and fear of the diagnosis, with many describing that moment as like an out of body experience.
Once the information has begun to digest, the patient must assess their options and make a choice. For many women, the process of taking action can be empowering, providing a path to follow and removing the feeling of powerlessness. Although we perform numerous breast cancer surgeries, our focus is always on the psychological and physical requirements of you, the individual patient.
The Importance of Making Informed Decisions
Every woman is unique, every medical situation different, and we believe that our job is to ensure that our patients have sufficient information to make informed decisions on the treatment they want to receive. For some women, there is a considerable amount of strength to be taken from their breast surgery scars; it marks the time they went into battle and beat cancer. For others, scars are the last thing they want to see on a daily basis and can affect a woman’s self-confidence.
That is why we take the time to discuss all of the various options with our patients. We explain everything and answer any questions that you may have about your procedure options. Dr. Gorman and our team of caring and considerate professionals are there to support and advise you in any way that we can. Ultimately each woman has to make the choice that is best for her and her health. When fighting cancer, we become a team, working with our patients to provide the care, support, and education they need at such a challenging and emotional time. Always remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question, even if you feel embarrassed to ask it. We want to answer your questions to provide you the confidence you need in making these key decisions.
What Is the Difference Between A Mastectomy and a Lumpectomy?
A Mastectomy is an operation that involves the surgical removal of all of your breast tissue; a lumpectomy is not quite so invasive and involves removing part of the breast tissue.
What Is Hidden Scar™ Surgery and Why Should I Consider It?
As the name suggests, when we undertake Hidden Scar™ Surgery, Dr. Gorman aims to leave minimal visible scar tissue, and so the advanced technique she uses, and the locations of the scars are chosen with this in mind. Many of our previous patients have told us that they regained confidence and were pleasantly surprised with the final results of the Hidden Scar™ surgery. Although our primary aim is always to remove any cancerous growth, we want to do everything in our power to minimize the trauma, fear, and long-term psychological aspects of breast cancer surgery. Our aim is for all of our patients, whenever possible, to enjoy a successful recovery physically, emotionally, and psychologically, which is why we specialize in Hidden Scar™ surgery.
What Are the Different Types of Hidden Scar™ Surgery?
When dealing with any cancer, there will be certain restrictions on the treatments available. The good news is that Hidden Scar™ Surgery has no effect on the recurrence of cancer versus other types of treatment, so let’s explain and describe the various types of treatment and care.
Hidden Scar™ Mastectomy
A Hidden Scar™ mastectomy procedure is typically the recommended option for women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, or those who are at high risk of contracting breast cancer. The surgery aims to remove the breast tumor, and then dependent on the type of operation varying amounts of skin. There are three different types of mastectomy:
- Simple/Total Mastectomy – This involves the removal of the breast tissue, the nipple, the areola, and the skin, but not all of the lymph nodes. It is one of the more invasive forms of breast cancer surgery, with only a radical mastectomy being more aggressive.
- Skin-Saving Mastectomy – This technique involves the removal of the cancerous tissue, the nipple, and the areola, but the aim is to preserve all of the breast skin and avoid any scarring to the breast. Upon completion of the skin-sparing mastectomy, breast reconstruction is much easier to perform, and with no visible scarring, most breast cancer surgery patients prefer the look and feel of their breasts, compared to the simple mastectomy.
- Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy – Breast surgery has made significant advances in recent years, and we are now able to offer nipple-sparing surgery. This relatively new procedure allows Dr. Gorman to remove the breast tissue, but not the skin or the nipple. We perform this mastectomy using Hidden Scar™ Surgery techniques; Dr. Gorman makes the required incisions in areas that are not easy to see, such as directly under the breast where it meets the body, otherwise known as the inflammatory fold.
Hidden Scar™ nipple-sparing mastectomies are not suitable in every situation, and this is something on which Dr. Gorman can advise you. Generally speaking, to be a candidate for Hidden Scar™ Surgery, there has to be no evidence of cancer within the nipple. Likewise, this type of operation is ideally suited to those people who have non-invasive cancer.
Increasingly, women who have a family history with a high incidence of breast cancer are taking the brave and pre-emptive action of having breast surgery, and in this case, we can often recommend a nipple-sparing Hidden Scar™ Surgery.
Hidden Scar™ Lumpectomy
A mastectomy may not always be necessary, which is why our breast surgeon is happy to invest time in discussions with our patients before any definitive decisions are made. The alternative in some instances may be a Hidden Scar™ lumpectomy, but this procedure will only be an option under certain circumstances.
A lumpectomy involves removing the lump itself, as well as a small portion of the healthy tissue surrounding and leaves more of the breast’s natural shape. For a lumpectomy to be a viable option, the breast cancer tumor needs to be relatively small in comparison to the rest of the breast, with no evidence of cancer spreading to other areas of the breast.
With a lumpectomy incision, more of the breast can typically be saved, and unlike a mastectomy in which Dr. Gorman has a single point of entry, lumpectomy Hidden Scar™ Procedures have three potential points of entry. These are:
- The Axilla (Under the Armpit)
- Around the edges of the areola – Many of our patients prefer this option, as even when wearing a petite bikini top, the scaring is minimal and hidden.
- The Inframammary fold – The natural crease beneath the breast where the breast meets the body.
The critical thing to remember when making these decisions is that you can discuss all of the options with Dr. Gorman and come to a conclusion with which you are happy. You are always at the center of the discussion. If you have any further questions, or simply want to discuss any concerns or worries you may call our friendly and knowledgeable staff today.
* Sacchini V., Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy for Breast Cancer and Risk Reduction: Oncologic or Technical Problem? Journal of the American College of Surgeons. 2006; 203(5) 5: 704-714.