Am I A Candidate For A Lumpectomy?
For women who have smaller cancers or larger breasts, a breast cancer lumpectomy procedure can be an excellent option. As with any surgical procedure, however, there are benefits and drawbacks to lumpectomy surgery. Nevertheless, the breast surgeons at Bedford Breast Center in Beverly Hills are more than happy to discuss your breast cancer treatment options and tailor your care to your specific needs. We have expertise in the ability to assess how much breast tissue will need to be removed and incision placement to ensure a healthy yet cosmetically appealing outcome. Typically we place lumpectomy incisions so that they are hidden in natural creases and lines in the body such as near the areola, in the armpit, or under the breast. We pride ourselves on creating a surgical plan that will take into account your concerns for cancer removal while leaving behind healthy tissue in a pattern that lacks tell tale signs of cancer surgery. If the amount of tissue that is required to ensure removal of all disease would cause deformity of the breast, we are well-versed in working with advanced reconstruction techniques and can provide Oncoplastc breast reduction surgery.
When a cancerous area is identified, first we must have the best information of the size or area of abnormal tissue that is involved. Only then can we make the best judgments about how much needs to be removed, and how much can be safely left behind. The type of cancer and amount of abnormality dictates what additional treatments are required. For some patients, medicine through the bloodstream or taken by pill is required to ensure the cancer does not return. For others, radiation is projected onto the site of the cancer to ensure complete eradication and the lowest possibility of recurrence. Radiation changes the breast somewhat so any breast reconstruction must wait until the final shape is determined. The decision to use some or none of these treatments along with surgical excision is specific to each patient. We are happy to review the reasons why some cancers require additional treatments and some do not with you.
The diagnosis of cancer and the appreciation for its effect of removal is one made with the help of our pathologies colleagues. We require tissue analysis under the microscope to ensure adequate margins, or healthy tissue surrounding the cancer. Because these changes are something that cannot be seen with the eye or felt with the hand, we cannot make any promises at the time of surgery that all cancerous tissue is removed. However once the information from the tissue analysis becomes available, we can guide you through the next steps in your cancer treatment process. Sometimes, additional surgery or even mastectomy is required after breast cancer lumpectomy surgery if we feel that cancerous tissue remains.
Learn more about Lumptectomy surgery by visiting mskcc.org.
ULTRA: Ultrasound Lesion Therapeutic Removal Alternative Procedure
If you have a non-cancerous growth within your breast, you may be a good candidate for a non-surgical lumpectomy procedure.
Women who have been diagnosed with a non-malignant lump in the breast do not necessarily have to undergo lumpectomy surgery, but many are simply not comfortable with the presence of a mass within their breast, even if it is safe-appearing. Moreover, they do not want to continually monitor the mass for changes and would rather have it removed. However, they might be reluctant to undergo a surgical procedure for various personal reasons. In such cases, a non-surgical lumpectomy procedure may be an excellent option.
Our proprietary ULTRA (Ultrasound Lesion Therapeutic Removal Alternative) technique involves the insertion of a small extraction device through a minor incision made within a natural demarcation between the breast and nipple, so that there is no noticeable scarring. The physician guides the extraction device using ultrasound imaging, so the targeted mass can be located instantly. The patient is made comfortable with a local anesthetic throughout the site, so there is no pain during the ULTRA procedure. The non-surgical lumpectomy procedure is performed in-office, with no requirement of an overnight stay. The patient may return to work and normal, non-strenuous activities the next day.
A non-surgical lumpectomy procedure is only appropriate for patients with non-cancerous growths – patients with masses that may be cancerous or become cancerous are not good candidates for non-surgical lumpectomy procedures, and might have to undergo a fine needle aspiration biopsy, core-needle biopsy, or possibly lumpectomy surgery.
Fat Grafting After Lumpectomy
Once your breast conserving treatment plan has been completed, we typically allow several months for the healing process to take place. If there is unevenness for dissatisfaction with the final appearance, we have many tools to improve the shape or contour. Fat grafting, or lipo modeling, is one common technique where fatty deposits are lipo-suctioned away from other areas of the body, like the tummy or thighs, and injected via tiny droplets into the breasts in areas where more fullness is required. Because this is your own fatty tissue, it has a very natural and soft appearance and can improve firmness or radiation changes if they are present as well. Most patients who have a lumpectomy do not require any plastic surgical intervention, but it is an option if desired. Any plastic surgery intervention is considered “reconstruction” not “cosmetic“ surgery and will be covered by insurance.
At the Bedford Breast Center, we offer among the best minimally invasive breast cancer lumpectomy results around. We provide our services to women at our convenient Los Angeles Breast Center as part of our comprehensive care approach. Here we pride ourselves on removing the fear and confusion associated with surgery and treatment for breast cancer, thereby helping our patients through a stressful time. Providing all breast cancer treatments in one location is convenient and predictable for both our patients and their families. If you would more information about getting the most skillful, effective, and compassionate breast cancer lumpectomy Los Angeles has to offer, please call 310-278-8590 today to schedule an appointment.