Breast cancer surgery without scars
By Karen Dandurant firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted Oct 22, 2017 at 3:01 AM
EXETER - While many breast cancers are treatable, surgery can leave the patient with a lifelong reminder.
The two types of breast cancer surgery, lumpectomy, which includes removal of the area where cancer has been detected, or mastectomy, where cancer is advanced or where the patient chooses full removal of the breast, leave scars.
Dr. Rebecca Kwait and Dr. Kimberly Marble, both part of Core physicians in Exeter, were recently named the first surgeons in the state to work as a breast cancer team using the hidden scar method. The pair work as a team, doing breast cancer surgery and reconstruction, often during the same operation.
Hidden scar breast cancer surgery allows the surgeons to remove the cancerous tissue through a single incision made in an inconspicuous area, preserving the natural shape of the breast while reducing visible scarring. Patients who undergo this procedure are at no higher risk of recurrence than patients who undergo any other surgical technique.
Kwait is a fellowship-trained breast surgeon and Marble is a plastic surgeon.
“I am so excited that I have achieved this certification,” said Kwait. “It will help us facilitate surgery in a phenomenal way. It gives us the ability to plan our incision where we can be successful with minimal scarring. It really is a new way to think about breast cancer surgery.”
Marble said the approach means more work for Kwait, but said they are both on board with the new procedure.
“Instead of making a V across the breast, the operation can spare the nipple, depending on the extent of the cancer,” said Marble. “The incision is hidden.”
The incision for the hidden scar method is most often done in the inframammary fold, just under the breast.
Kwait said breast conservation can preserve better shape for the breast after surgery.
“And, they no longer see the scar as a daily reminder of their surgery,” said Kwait. “Because it is better hidden they feel the outcome is better and they feel more satisfaction about the surgery. We love to make our patients feel more confident.”
Each year, about 405,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer that requires surgery, with many unaware of all the surgical options available, including minimally invasive approaches that can help restore their self-image and allow them to begin the emotional healing process.
Marble said that even in the cases where a full mastectomy is needed, she can often begin reconstruction at the same time as the cancer surgery.
Performing breast cancer surgery through a smaller incision requires consistent illumination throughout the surgical cavity, so surgeons can clearly see and effectively remove the tumor.
Kwait said she uses Invuity’s Intelligent Photonics technology to improve her visibility during procedures such as lumpectomy and nipple-sparing mastectomy - enabling them to perform complex, in-demand surgeries with greater confidence, and give more women access to transformative options.
Invuity Inc. is a San Francisco-based company. Its patented Intelligent Photonics technology enables enhanced surgical precision, efficiency and safety by providing superior visualization. Clinical applications include breast and thyroid oncology, plastic reconstructive, spine, orthopedic, cardiothoracic and general surgery. For information, visit www.invuity.com.
For information on hidden scar, visit www.myhiddenscar.com.