PERSONALIZED TREATMENT GUIDE
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Preserving The Breast's Natural Appearance
Breast cancer is typically a highly treatable disease, so we strive to minimize surgical effects and scars as much as possible. “Women’s surgical scars can affect many aspects of their lives—including their sexuality, their feelings of self-consciousness with their partner and their ability to feel comfortable in their clothing,” says Sunny D. Mitchell, MD, Medical Director of The Breast Center at Montefiore Nyack Hospital.
A recent study by Dr. Mitchell and others published in BMC Cancer found that 74% of breast cancer patients who had a lumpectomy and 86% of those who had a mastectomy reported that their scars had a negative impact on their daily lives.1
Fortunately, women don’t need to choose between successful treatment and appearance. Using advanced techniques, surgeons can remove a tumor while preserving the natural appearance of the breast. Dr. Mitchell specializes in oncoplastic surgery combined with optimal incision placement (Hidden Scar surgery), as well as nipple-sparing mastectomy—techniques that allow women to more easily move on with their lives after treatment.
Dr. Mitchell is a certified Hidden Scar breast surgeon, and she teaches other physicians how to use this technique, which involves placing the incision (scar) in a location that heals very well and is generally less visible. “We’re able to minimize and hide the surgery scars by simply taking advantage of anatomy, so women don’t have a daily reminder that they’ve had breast surgery,” says Dr. Mitchell.
Dr. Mitchell is also an expert in oncoplastic surgery, which combines removing the breast cancer with plastic surgery techniques. The goals of this surgical approach are to remove a tumor while achieving the best possible cosmetic result and maintaining the patient’s quality of life.
When performing a mastectomy, Dr. Mitchell works alongside a plastic surgeon, who performs immediate reconstruction with an implant or a woman’s own tissue. In most cases, this eliminates the need for the patient to return for a second procedure to reconstruct the breast.
Oncoplastic breast surgery not only enables patients to move past their cancer diagnosis psychologically and emotionally, but it’s also effective. Research shows that patients who have this type of surgery don’t have a higher risk of cancer recurrence than those who have traditional surgery.
At The Breast Center at Montefiore Nyack Hospital, we offer a multidisciplinary breast cancer consultation that incorporates breast surgery, medical oncology and radiation oncology input and recommendations into a single visit. This allows patients to get consensus opinions and recommendations for treatment from our board-certified specialists so they can feel more confident that they’ve explored all of their options.
1.Gass, J., Mitchell, S. & Hanna, M. How do breast cancer surgery scars impact survivorship? Findings from a nationwide survey in the United States. BMC Cancer 19, 342 (2019).
To make an appointment, call 845-348-7579 or use our Contact Us form.
“Dr. Sunny Mitchell is an extraordinarily talented breast cancer surgeon. She has expertise in all basic and advanced procedures including highly complex oncoplastic and reconstructive procedures. Her unique skill set provides patients with exceptional cosmetic results while eradicating the breast cancer. Additionally, her patient-centered approach provides great comfort to patients during their breast cancer journey. Communication between The Breast Cancer Program at Nyack and the Montefiore program in the Bronx is fluid, so that patients under Dr. Mitchell’s care can also receive consultative input from our National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated breast cancer team.” — Sheldon Marc Feldman, MD, Chief, Breast Surgery and Breast Surgical Oncology, and Director, Breast Cancer Services at Montefiore Health System.