PinnacleHealth Breast Care Surgeons Lisa Torp, Brynn Wolff and Katherine Barton are the first in Pennsylvania to be recognized for Excellence in Hidden Scar™ Breast Cancer Surgery. Hidden Scar is an advanced approach in which breast surgeons remove cancerous tissue through a single incision made in inconspicuous areas to minimize visible scarring. By using this approach, surgeons are able to preserve a natural-looking breast by sparing the nipple, areola and surrounding tissue.
There are several inconspicuous areas for incision placement for both mastectomies and lumpectomies. With the Hidden Scar approach, surgeons place the incision in the inframammary fold (the crease beneath the breast), a preferred location for breast and plastic surgeons due to its ability to hide any scar. Hidden Scar is accomplished through photonics technology that delivers superior intracavity illumination and visualization without generating heat.
"The most significant advancement change in breast cancer surgeries in the past five years relates to the nipple-sparing mastectomy. With the Hidden Scar approach, we have the ability to see better in a smaller space for more precise tumor removal while sparing healthy tissue," states Lisa Torp, MD, FACS, medical director, PinnacleHealth Breast Care Center.
This safe approach can be utilized in patients seeking risk reduction mastectomy (prevention because of a strong family history or carriers of the BRCA gene), in women with DCIS (non-invasive cancer), or invasive or non-invasive tumors that do not lie directly beneath the nipple. With this procedure there is no need for the nipple to be reconstructed or tattooed later.
Patients who undergo the Hidden Scar approach are at no higher risk of recurrence than patients who undergo any other type of mastectomy. Hidden Scar may also be appropriate for patients undergoing breast-conserving (lumpectomy) and sentinel lymph node biopsy procedures. Qualification for each approach depends on a patient's tumor size and location, breast shape, size and her personal choice in many cases.
"For many women, breast surgery is part of the cancer treatment process. Personal body image and their appearance after surgery can be important factors in women's emotional healing," states Dr. Torp. "As a surgeon, it is gratifying to offer hidden scar techniques to patients and support their overall well-being and improved confidence."