HMH - Breast Surgery - Hackensack
Individualized care from a leading surgical team. No matter what stage or type of breast cancer you have, a comprehensive consultation with a breast surgeon is often the first step in developing an optimal care plan.
The breast surgeons at our practice, part of the Division of Breast Surgery at Hackensack University Medical Center, are nationally recognized experts with extensive experience in every type of breast cancer surgery. Your breast surgeon tailors your operation to your specific needs, working with you to choose the optimal approach based on the stage, size, location, and biology of your tumor, as well as your personal preferences, breast size, and other factors.
We take an “oncoplastic” approach to achieve a good cosmetic outcome. We also understand that the prospect of breast surgery can mean fear and uncertainty. Our goal is to reduce your fear and replace it with knowledge and compassion, while providing you with outstanding care designed to help you achieve the best outcomes possible.
Members of a Coordinated Team
Many women with breast cancer require other forms of therapy as part of their care. If you need chemotherapy (before or after breast surgery), hormonal therapy, or radiation therapy, your breast surgeon works closely with other members of the Hackensack University Medical Center breast team – including medical oncologists and radiation oncologists at John Theurer Cancer Center – who provide those treatments to ensure your care is continuous and communication is seamless.
Advanced breast surgery: Some of the things that go into making a decision include tumor size, its location, breast size and the preferences of the individual patient. Some of the surgical options that may be offered for breast surgery include:
- Breast-sparing surgery with lumpectomy: Many women with breast cancer can undergo lumpectomy, in which only the tumor is removed, leaving the remainder of the breast in place. We typically perform this operation on an outpatient basis, enabling you to return to the comfort of your home the same day to begin your recovery. Most women who have a lumpectomy have radiation therapy afterward. Your surgeon will collaborate with your radiation oncologist to provide seamless, coordinated care.Some patients with breast cancers that cannot be felt (“nonpalpable lesion”) may benefit from SAVI SCOUT® to help guide lumpectomy. Hackensack University Medical Center is one of the few centers offering this technology in place of wire localization. A tiny reflector is implanted at the site of a tumor before surgery, and is detected by a special probe as surgery begins. The reflector can be inserted up to 30 days before the surgery, the patient does not have to fast, and there is no radiation involved (unlike radioactive seed placement, another form of presurgical breast tumor localization). Your breast surgeon will let you know if SAVI SCOUT is an option for you.
- Options for mastectomy: Our surgeons are experienced performing the different types of mastectomy and reconstruction:
- Modified radical mastectomy, which involves removing the breast tissue, nipple, overlying skin, and lymph nodes under the arm on the affected side.
- Skin-sparing mastectomy, where the inner breast tissue is removed, but the skin is left intact prior to breast reconstruction.
- Some women having skin-sparing mastectomy can have nipple-sparing mastectomy depending on the location of the cancer, the size and shape of the breast, and the location of the nipple.
- Breast reconstruction. After mastectomy, our plastic surgeons offer breast reconstruction using your own tissue (muscle and fat taken from the back or stomach) or breast implants. If you are interested in reconstruction, your breast surgeon will thoroughly discuss your options and refer you to a plastic surgeon so you can choose the approach that best meets your needs. You may have reconstruction at the time of your mastectomy or at a later date.
- Sentinel lymph node biopsy: With most invasive breast cancers, doctors need to assess the underarm (axillary) lymph nodes to gauge the stage of your cancer and determine your need for additional treatment, such as chemotherapy. Our surgeons perform sentinel lymph node biopsy to identify the first underarm lymph node where cancer cells might spread. If the node contains cancer cells, the surgeon may remove additional nodes in a procedure called axillary node dissection. If the node is free of cancer, no other lymph nodes need to be removed, lowering your risk of lymphedema (swelling in the arm).
- After treatment: follow-up care: We have a formal long-term survivorship program for women who had surgery for breast cancer, have completed their treatment, and no longer need to see their breast surgeon regularly. We provide yearly surveillance with mammography and/or ultrasound as needed and a physical breast examination to monitor your breast health.
- Supportive care
- Nutritional guidance
- Psychosocial support
- Lymphedema treatment
- Clinical trials