Breast Cancer Surgery Specialist
Jason S. Cohen, MD, FACS
General & Advanced Laparoscopic Surgeon located in Beverly Grove, Los Angeles, CA
Breast Cancer Surgery Q & A
What is a surgical breast biopsy?
If you have a lump in your breast, or you develop other signs of breast cancer, you need a diagnostic mammogram to evaluate the lump. If your mammogram results suggest cancer, you need additional diagnostic testing such as an ultrasound or MRI, followed by a biopsy.
During a breast biopsy, such as a fine needle aspiration or a core needle biopsy, a tissue sample is withdrawn from the lump, then the tissue is examined under a microscope to check for the presence of cancer cells. If the results aren’t clear, you may need a surgical biopsy to remove part or all of the tumor.
What should I know about breast cancer surgery?
While you may need chemotherapy, radiation, or other targeted therapies, having surgery to remove the tumor is an essential part of your treatment plan. The type of breast cancer surgery you need depends on the extent of your cancer, the size of your breasts, and your personal preferences.
There are two basic types of breast cancer surgery:
Lumpectomy (breast-conserving surgery)
During a lumpectomy, Dr. Cohen removes the mass and a small rim of tissue around the margin of the tumor, preserving your breast and sensation in the breast. Dr. Cohen may also remove the sentinel lymph node, which is the first node to receive lymphatic drainage from the tumor.
Mastectomy may be the best choice when biological markers show your cancer is fast-growing, the tumor is large, or for other medical reasons. During a mastectomy, your breast is removed. However, there are several types of mastectomies.
What types of mastectomies are performed during breast cancer surgery?
Dr. Cohen talks with you about your mastectomy options, explaining the differences and answering your questions so you can make the best choice for your health. He has extensive experience performing several types of mastectomies including:
Total mastectomy or simple mastectomy
During this procedure, Dr. Cohen removes your entire breast, including the breast tissue, most of the skin, the nipple, and the areola.
Modified radical mastectomy
Dr. Cohen performs a total mastectomy and also removes the underarm lymph nodes. In some cases, the lining over the chest muscles may be removed, but the muscles stay intact.
Radical mastectomies are rarely performed. They’re only necessary when cancer spreads to the chest muscles, requiring removal of the affected muscles.
Nipple-sparing or skin-sparing mastectomy
Depending on the extent of your cancer, Dr. Cohen may be able to keep most of your skin intact or preserve the nipple, allowing for a more natural-looking reconstruction.
Oncoplastic breast surgery
Dr. Cohen frequently performs oncoplastic surgery, performing breast reconstruction immediately after your mastectomy.
If you need treatment for breast cancer, call Jason Cohen, MD, FACS, or schedule an appointment online.