New Surgical Options For Breast Cancer Patient

Armen Hareyan's picture
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According to the American Cancer Society, over 200,000 new breast cancer cases are diagnosed annually in the United States. Also, a recent article suggests that more than forty percent of women who undergo breast cancer removal are not offered any type of reconstruction, referred to a surgeon, or educated in any way on current reconstructive options available.

Dr. Gabriel Kind, M.D., FACS, is a board certified plastic surgeon who practices in San Francisco, California and specializes in breast reconstruction before and after the diagnosis of breast cancer. Dr. Kind offers a variety of surgical options to help breast cancer patients and survivors recover gracefully from this disease!

"As a surgeon, I always educate my patients as to all of their options when dealing with something as serious as mastectomy surgery to remove cancer," says Dr. Kind. "Many options are available. What appears to be the procedure of choice for many women is the DIEP flap, or Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator flap. Spreading the word about the options women have is the key to recovery."

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With the DIEP procedure, Dr. Kind begins by harvesting tissue from a patient's lower abdomen and uses the fat, skin and DIEP vessels that supply necessary blood, and successfully recreates a natural-looking new breast for his patient. Since the abdominal wall tissue is similar to breast tissue, it produces a natural, aesthetically pleasing result without the use of an implant, and no sacrifice of muscle resulting in less post-surgical pain and complications.

The DIEP procedure has the advantage of avoiding implants, which can leak or rupture, requiring replacement, implants usually do poorly in patients who have had or will have radiation therapy for cancer. The DIEP brings healthy tissue to irradiated areas.

Dr. Kind has performed more DIEP procedures than any other surgeon in the Bay Area, and according to Dr. Kind, there are three main types of patients who receive the DIEP procedure: Newly found breast cancer patients; patients who had breast cancer removal and opted for breast implants and are having complications; and patients who have had mastectomy surgery to remove cancer, but had no breast reconstruction afterward. For these three types of women the DIEP procedure is a remarkable option.

"Reconstructive breast surgery is a sensitive topic amongst breast cancer patients, but the DIEP procedure is a significant step forward, offering another option for women facing breast cancer surgery," states Dr. Kind. "I believe that excellence in surgery and the compassionate care and education of patients must go hand-in-hand."

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