From initial diagnosis to surgery and followup treatments, breast cancer usually is overwhelming for patients and families.
Fortunately, patients in Lancaster County can count on the expertise of breast surgeon Heather Portaro, MD, and plastic surgeon Felice Moody, MD, to guide them through the experience and help them make informed decisions.
The surgeons work closely to offer the patient appropriate options for breast reconstruction. Sometimes the need for chemotherapy, targeted therapies or radiation therapy may not allow for immediate reconstruction of the breast. In these instances, surgeons may recommend a staged approach to allow full reconstruction to be completed later.
“The breast surgeon will orchestrate the treatment plan for a patient who receives a diagnosis of breast cancer after considering the input from the multidisciplinary breast cancer team and provides the guidance the patient needs to make an informed decision regarding the care,” Dr. Moody says.
“It really is a team approach,” Dr. Portaro adds. Following a mastectomy or lumpectomy, many women choose to have breast reconstruction surgery. Often reconstruction is performed immediately after the mastectomy or lumpectomy.
However, the need for radiation therapy, chemotherapy or targeted therapies may require postponement of reconstruction surgery. Sometimes surgeons recommend a delayed or staged approach in which initial procedures help preserve the shape of the breast during radiation treatments and full reconstruction is completed later.
“The field of breast surgery is so interesting because recommendations are constantly changing, and there are often multiple ways to approach the treatment of breast cancer. It is important that decisions be made by a multidisciplinary team,” Dr. Portaro says, adding, “This is why it is fantastic that WellSpan has a team dedicated to working with breast cancer patients.”
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