Most experience surgery, living with the long term impact.
Surgeon Dr. Denise Barajas is among a few in Connecticut, offering an option, designed to reducing its effect.
She says, “You want to minimize side affects from your treatment, considering everything and for surgery that’s minimizing the scarring and having the best cosmetic outcome that you can.”
“It’s very important for these women to be able to look in the mirror, to be able to wear a bathing suit, to be able to be active and doing all their normal activities because they are going to go back to their normal life. They’re not always going to be a breast cancer patient,” says Dr. Barajas.
She uses a lighted surgical tool, “It minimizes the side effect of surgery. It’s not as obvious of a scar, it’s a smaller scar.”
It guides her as she removes the tumor through small incisions with the starting point not over the tumor.
Dr. Barajas explains, “You’re able to do a cancer operation, get enough tissue but you’re able to close it so that you maintain the shape of the breast. We put the scars either underneath the breast in the fold, underneath the breast or around the areola to hide it around the nipple or sometimes even underneath the arm.”
Patients like Renee Perssico and Katie Regan are empowered by what they are seeing in the mirror.
“Unless you actually like look under, you can’t even tell,” says Renee, “When I look in the mirror now, I don’t feel damaged or less than a woman.”
Katie says, “It’s given me what my mother didn’t have, which is, I’m able to see my children grow up. For me, I feel stronger seeing it.”
Not every breast cancer patient is a candidate for hidden scar breast surgery.
Dr. Barajas says it comes down to where the tumor is located and where to make that incision.
For more information, call Hewitt Center for Breast Wellness at Griffin Hospital 203-732-1300
or visit www.griffinhealth.org/breastcenter or log onto or www.breastcancersurgery.com