Skin Sparing Mastectomy Explained Video

Plastic surgeon Dr. Ritu Chopra and Dr. Joel Aronowitz, founder of the Breast Preservation Foundation, explain how the skin-sparing mastectomy is performed. The revolutionary procedure not only treats the cancer, but saves the appearance of the br...
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Skin Sparing Mastectomy Explained Dr. Travis Stork: We’d like to welcome the very talented surgeons who performed these reconstructions, Dr. Joel Aronowitz and our own plastic surgeon corresponding Dr. Ritu Chopra. Gentlemen thanks for being here. Dr. Ritu Chopra: Thank you. Dr. Travis Stork: So, exciting stuff because Dr. Chopra, a traditional mastectomy could live a woman scarred, self-conscious and losing so much tissue that they never even want to be seen again. Dr. Ritu Chopra: Absolutely. Most women they think cancer, they’re very scared because of the traditional mastectomy. It leaves them disfigured with no skin and their aesthetic results aren’t as great. So, it’s a huge problem. Take a look. That’s a traditional mastectomy. You can see most of the skin is gone. The nipple areola complex is gone leaving her disfigured. Dr. Andrew Ordon: And although we have great nipple areola reconstructive techniques available, it’s never the same if you have the original tissue there to recreate to give back that aesthetically pleasing breast. Dr. Travis Stork: So, how does the skin sparing mastectomy work then? Dr. Joel Aronowitz: Basically, we’re doing the operation, the mastectomy through the same incisions we would use to do purely cosmetic surgery. So, women with a small breast, the breast tissue can be removed though a small incision under the breast and they fold or around the nipple. In a larger breast, that needs to be lifted and shaped. Anyway, the operation can be performed through in an inverted T type of incision the same way of breast lift or reduction would be done. The skin is open. The breast tissue is removed by the cancer surgeon and then an implant or flap, in this case, a silicone implant is placed within the skin envelope of the breast and the skin envelope is shaped so that the women can even have an improved skin envelope and improved shape of the breast after mastectomy. One important thing to know, here’s the animation. The incision is made in an inverted T with a woman with larger breast but it doesn’t even have to be that big with a smaller breast then the implant is placed under the muscle to replace the volume that’s been removed when the breast tissue is removed then the breast tissue remember is where the cancers starts. The cancer doesn’t start in the skin of the breast and the skin of the breast including the nipple can be spared if the cancer is not close to it. Dr. Lisa Masterson: And you know why this is so huge and your story is just so compelling is because this touches so many woman who are trying to decide and my mother suffered from breast cancer, died from breast cancer. She was disfigured like that picture and it was just traumatizing to her and myself. Our whole family became victims of breast cancer because of that. We’re watching them go through the pain but to know that something like that is available, if you get tested because a lot of women, especially if they have a family member who was gone through breast cancer will not even consider to get testing because they don’t even want to consider the disfiguring type of surgery. If you have this alternative -- Dr. Joel Aronowitz: Exactly. Dr. Lisa Masterson: It makes it much more then you can potentially save yourself. Dr. Joel Aronowitz: That disfigurement is the huge barrier to women going in and seeking treatment and I think that it’s important that women realize that it is perfectly acceptable to be concerned about the cosmetic appearance about having a natural appearance of their breast despite dealing with breast cancer or the threat of breast cancer. Just because breast cancer hangs over our heads, it doesn’t mean you can’t still have a natural appearance of the breast and that concern should be expressed to your doctor and a woman should insist upon having a plastic surgeon part of the team from the very beginning so the plastic surgeon can have input about the eventu

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