For many women, the thought of undergoing a mastectomy – the surgical removal of one or both breasts – is understandably terrifying. Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie is the most recognizable face of mastectomy treatment. Earlier in 2013, she had a preventive double mastectomy after learning she carried a genetic mutation that put her at high risk for breast cancer. Her experience has helped ease the social stigma associated with the procedure, and put a spotlight on advances in breast surgery and reconstruction.
"In my practice I am seeing an increasing number of younger women opting for mastectomies, either because of a breast cancer diagnosis or as a preventive measure when they are at high risk," says Laura A. Klein, M.D., Medical Director of The Valley Hospital Breast Center. "This is in part due to excellent options for surgery and reconstruction that weren't available in the past. Our goal is limited surgery and breast preservation as much as possible."
One of the most significant advancements is called a nipple-sparing mastectomy. This procedure removes the breast tissue but leaves the breast skin, including the nipple and areola, intact. Subsequent breast reconstruction results in a very natural-looking breast with minimal scarring. At The Valley Hospital Breast Center, while not every woman is a candidate for the nipple-sparing technique, the criteria for patient selection has been greatly expanded through access to a multidisciplinary breast, oncology and plastic surgery team equipped with the latest in technology and diagnostic imaging.
For details on The Valley Hospital Breast Center, to make an appointment for a mammogram, or to reach a member of our specialized oncology or cosmetic surgery team, call
201-634-5557. For more information, contact us via e-mail.