Hidden Scar Surgery {Changing the Lives of Breast Cancer Patients}

Disclosure :: our Breast Cancer Awareness series is sponsored by Baton Rouge General

Hidden Scar Surgery {Changing the Lives of Breast Cancer Patients}

Body image is something women struggle with all their lives – which is why a breast cancer diagnosis is so devastating. Breasts are symbolic of beauty, fertility, motherhood, femininity. For some women, the thought of losing them is inconceivable. Surgical scarring can make recovery even more difficult. 

A new procedure called “hidden scar surgery” is changing the lives of breast cancer patients, and Baton Rouge General is one of the first hospitals to offer it. Dr. Everett Bonner, surgical oncologist and Chair of the hospital’s Breast Committee, is one of just a handful of physicians qualified to perform the procedure.

Hidden Scar Surgery {Changing the Lives of Breast Cancer Patients}“Breast surgeons are skilled at removing cancer, but it’s equally important to find one who prioritizes the patient’s cosmetic goals,” said Dr. Bonner. “Some women see their breast surgery scars as an empowering symbol of beating cancer, but many do not. I want my patients to walk away not only healed, but feeling whole and happy again.”

Scar tissue, which replaces the injured skin, can form a lump or it can appear flat, stretched or discolored. Although it’s a cosmetic concern, it can affect a woman’s psychological recovery and quality of life. Women with scars from breast cancer often report a diminished sense of their femininity, a loss of self-esteem, and a feeling of disconnection from their bodies. Hidden scar surgery alleviates many of these negative feelings.

With the hidden scar approach, the surgeon places the incision in a place that is hard to see, so the scar is not visible after the incision heals. It can be done for a nipple-sparing mastectomy or for a lumpectomy. Best of all, hidden scar patients do not have a higher risk of cancer recurrence than patients who undergo other techniques.

“Women have more choices than ever before,” Dr. Bonner said. “It’s important for them to be aware of the new options available today which didn’t exist just a few years ago. These options can make a big difference in emotional healing.”

If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, your physician will explain your medical and surgical options based on factors such as family history, the size and location of your tumor, your age, and your breast size and shape. Hidden scar surgery could help you reclaim your self-confidence and self-esteem. Talk with your physician to find out if you are a candidate for this innovative and life-changing treatment.

About Dr. Bonner

Dr. Bonner at Baton Rouge GeneralDr. Bonner is chair of the breast committee at Baton Rouge General. He received his medical degree from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, completed his residency at Mercer University School of Medicine in Savannah, and did a surgical breast oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

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