If you need breast cancer surgery, you want to know all your options — and to work with surgeons who can offer you the latest techniques for mastectomy and lumpectomy.
Valley’s breast surgery program offers options not widely available in the region. Valley’s breast surgeons are trained in oncoplastic techniques, which combine plastic surgery techniques with breast cancer surgery. This combination can provide superior clinical outcomes and cosmetic results.
Determining the Right Breast Cancer Surgery for You
Determining which breast cancer procedures are best for you can be a complicated decision — based on addressing your cancer and your personal preferences.
Your breast cancer surgeon will discuss with you which type of surgery will be the best fit for you. For example, some patients who seek a second opinion from Valley learn that a mastectomy may not be necessary.
Breast Cancer Surgery Options at Valley
At Valley, we offer a variety of advanced techniques, including the following:
- Seed localization: For tumors that are difficult to feel (non-palpable), our surgeons use seed localization (vs. a wire) to identify the tumor’s location. This provides greater precision during tissue removal, reduces scarring and is typically more comfortable for patients.
Types of Mastectomies
- Simple mastectomy: Surgeons remove the whole breast, including the nipple, areola and skin.
- Nipple-sparing mastectomy: At Valley, our surgeons offer the option to preserve the nipple so it can be used during breast reconstruction.
- Skin-sparing mastectomy: Our surgeons remove breast tissue as in a simple mastectomy, but keep the breast’s outer skin. Surgeons can then add a breast implant or tissue from your body during surgery to reconstruct your breast.
- Modified radical mastectomy: Surgeons remove the whole breast (as in simple mastectomy), plus lymph nodes under the arm.
- Double mastectomy, also known as bilateral mastectomy: Surgeons remove both breasts. This is often chosen by patients who are at high risk for developing cancer due to hereditary cancer predisposition, such as through BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes.
Lumpectomy, or Breast-Conserving Surgery
- Lumpectomy: Our surgeons offer lumpectomy, also known as breast-conserving surgery, using oncoplastic techniques. This combination of plastic surgery with cancer surgery provides outstanding clinical outcomes and cosmetic results.
Radiation During Breast Cancer Surgery
- Intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT): This provides a full course of radiation in one dose at the time of your cancer surgery. It can eliminate the need for radiation following surgery.
Breast Reconstruction Techniques
- Reduction mammoplasty and mastopexy for cancer patients: Using established plastic surgery techniques, our surgeons can perform a breast reduction (reduction mammoplasty) and/or breast lift (mastoplexy) as part of breast cancer surgery.
- DIEP flap and TRAM flap: Our breast surgeons and plastic surgeons offer microvascular techniques for breast reconstruction that can provide a more natural look.
- Pre-pectoral placement of implant: Our surgeons place the breast implant above the chest muscle (pre-pectoral); this provides superior cosmetic results without disturbing the muscle.
- One-stage reconstruction, or single-stage reconstruction: Our surgeons offer one-stage reconstruction (with or without an implant) at the time of breast cancer surgery.
Why Choose Valley for Mastectomy or Lumpectomy?
- Nipple-sparing mastectomy: This option provides a desirable cosmetic effect and a sense of wholeness for many women. At Valley, the majority of our patients (70 percent) who had a mastectomy had a nipple-sparing mastectomy.
- Breast preservation options: Lumpectomy, or breast-conserving surgery, is typically recommended for patients with early stage breast cancer. At Valley, we counsel our patients on all of their options, including preserving their breasts when possible. In fact, 98 percent of eligible patients at Valley were offered breast-conserving surgery.
- Breast reconstruction options: At Valley, we use a shared-decision making process, which means that we counsel our patients on their options and decide on a plan together. Our plastic surgeons and breast surgeons discuss with patients their breast reconstruction options before they have breast cancer surgery — to help them make the right choices for their individual needs.
- High volume expertise: Our surgeons are experts in breast cancer surgery, with career-long dedication to providing innovative treatments. As part of a high-volume breast surgery program, they offer patients the latest techniques and positive clinical outcomes.