Woman undergoing breast surgery in Boston

All breast cancers are unique, so all breast cancer treatments must be personalized and unique. Breast cancer treatments can be surgical or non-surgical — radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. In most cases, however, you may need a combination of numerous surgical and non-surgical techniques. Your breast cancer treatment plan might be based on numerous factors, such as the size of tumors, the tumor’s features, the number of affected lymph nodes, and your medical history and preferences.

At New England Breast and Wellness, your entire breast cancer diagnosis and treatment plan is managed by Dr. Katherina Calvillo, a breast cancer specialist and breast surgeon in Boston with 16+ years of experience at Harvard. She coordinates your treatment plan and surgery with the country’s leading Harvard-affiliated doctors and hospitals to ensure optimal results. We prioritize the removal of tumors and cancer cells while preserving as much of your breast tissues as safely possible.

Below, we provide an overview of the most common breast cancer surgery options available.

Lumpectomy

Lumpectomy is a suitable surgical option if your breast cancer is diagnosed at an early stage or if the cancer is only in one small part of the breast. During this procedure, the surgeon removes the tumor and some of the surrounding breast tissues. You may need radiation therapy after this procedure to kill all remaining breast cancer cells. This procedure allows you to retain your breast, making it a suitable alternative to a mastectomy. However, lumpectomy isn’t an option if you’re pregnant or have a large tumor.

patient undergoing Boston breast surgery

Mastectomy

Mastectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of the entire breast. You need to undergo a mastectomy if you have a large tumor or if the breast cancer cells have spread considerably. Even if you’re eligible for lumpectomy, some women prefer undergoing a mastectomy to minimize the risk of breast cancer returning. In some cases, if the breast cancer cells have spread to both breasts, you may also need to undergo a double mastectomy, i.e., both breasts may have to be removed.

Skin-Sparing Mastectomy: During skin-sparing mastectomy, the surgeon removes the skin from the nipple, areola, and the region from which the tumor was extracted, but leaves the remaining skin intact. The remaining skin can later be used for breast reconstruction. However, this option isn’t suitable for women with breast cancer cells close to the skin.

Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy: During nipple-sparing mastectomy, the surgeon removes all the breast glandular tissues via a small incision. The nipple and skin are left completely intact, making it an extension of the aforementioned skin-sparing mastectomy. After this procedure, breast reconstruction may be performed using an implant or natural tissues for an “untouched” appearance.

Hidden Scar Surgery

Hidden scar surgery refers to specialized surgical techniques that minimize scarring during a lumpectomy, skin-sparing mastectomy, or nipple-sparing mastectomy. During a lumpectomy, the surgeon may place the incision underneath the breast crease, around the areola, or within the folds of the armpit to minimize the scar’s visibility. During the skin-sparing or nipple-sparing mastectomy procedure, the surgeon may make incisions underneath the breast or around the areola to reduce their visibility. These techniques offer superior aesthetic results.

woman considering breast surgery in Boston

Breast Reconstruction/ No Reconstruction

After breast cancer surgery in Boston, you also have to decide if you want to undergo reconstructive surgery. You can opt for breast reconstruction after surgery to restore the appearance of breasts. You can also choose to avoid reconstruction after surgery, also known as “going flat.” There is no “right” decision when it comes to the possibility of reconstruction after surgery — the only consideration is whether you want it and whether it’s best for your health.

If you opt for breast reconstruction after a mastectomy, you may choose to have the breast mound rebuilt to restore the breast’s appearance — this can be done with implants or natural tissues. If you opt for breast reconstruction after a lumpectomy, the doctor may recommend fat grafting from other parts of the body (such as the abdomen) to restore the breast’s fullness. You have several breast reconstruction options to choose from — you can also choose to delay the procedure or avoid it altogether.

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New England Breast and Wellness is a center dedicated to supporting women with breast cancer and other breast-related problems. Dr. Katherina Calvillo is a breast cancer specialist with decades of experience at Harvard. She follows an intimate and personalized approach to breast cancer care, curating the ideal treatment plans according to your specific requirements and preferences. We also provide ongoing support and counseling to help you through these trying times. Please schedule an appointment for more information on the top breast surgery Boston has to offer.

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