At NewYork-Presbyterian Westchester, our breast surgeons work as part of a collaborative team of specialists who get to know you and tailor your care to your specific needs and preferences. We take care of all of you, coordinating your care with patient care navigators and social workers to address your needs beyond the care related to your diagnosis. If you need breast surgery, we offer a variety of techniques after discussing the pros and cons of each of your options to help you make an informed decision. We work closely with our plastic surgery and reconstructive breast surgery team and use an oncoplastic approach, effectively removing cancerous or abnormal tissue while preserving the cosmetic appearance of the breast as much as possible. Because we are located in the same building as other members of the breast care team, we easily communicate and collaborate with our colleagues in other disciplines, such as pathology, medical oncology, and radiation oncology.
Expert Breast Cancer Surgery
Our breast surgeons have exceptional experience performing:
Lumpectomy (breast-conserving surgery). Some women are able to have a breast tumor removed while leaving the remainder of the breast intact. Lumpectomy (typically combined with radiation therapy and sometimes chemotherapy and hormonal therapy) has been shown to be as effective as mastectomy for treating many small breast cancers. We take an oncoplastic approach to lumpectomy to minimize appearance of the incision.
Mastectomy. This procedure involves removal of the entire breast (simple mastectomy) or the breast plus underarm lymph nodes (modified radical mastectomy). Some women can have skin-sparing mastectomy (in which inner breast tissue is removed but the skin is left in place) or, depending on the location of the tumor and breast shape, nipple-preserving mastectomy (in which nipple tissue is left along with the skin, when cancer has not invaded the nipple and its shape permits this operation). Skin-sparing and nipple-preserving mastectomy prepare the patient for breast reconstruction. We also offer risk-reducing mastectomy (sometimes called “prophylactic mastectomy”) for women at high risk of breast cancer, such as those with mutations in the BRCA genes.
Sentinel lymph node biopsy. Most women having surgery for breast cancer undergo removal of at least some lymph nodes under the arm to see if they contain cancer cells. Our surgeons perform sentinel node biopsy, where the first nodes to which cancer cells would spread are removed and analyzed first. If these nodes are free of cancer, no other nodes are removed, reducing a patient’s risk of lymphedema (uncomfortable swelling of the arm that can occur after lymph node removal). If the nodes do contain cancer cells, then more lymph nodes may be removed for examination.