A breast cancer diagnosis can be an emotionally traumatic experience. A patient is suddenly faced with a lot of decisions to make and the outcomes can be life-altering. More than 250,000 women each year require surgery as part of their breast cancer treatment. The techniques used by Medical Director Dr. Jessica Ryan at the CMC Breast Care Center help maintain a woman’s self-image and confidence during her recovery and long afterwards.
Dr. Ryan is a board-certified, fellowship-trained surgeon with special interests in nipple-sparing mastectomy, breast conservation and oncoplastic surgery (the use of plastic surgery techniques to remove the tumor more completely and reshape the breast). She is a certified Hidden ScarTM trained surgeon for breast surgery and breast reconstruction.
Hidden Scar is a technique surgery where Dr. Ryan removes cancerous tissue through a single incision made in a hidden area. The results preserve the natural shape of the breast while reducing visible scarring.
“We have growing evidence suggesting breast conservation, when feasible, is the most ideal pathway for a woman,” says Dr. Ryan. “This allows her to return to her daily life more quickly, while feeling more comfortable with her body image.”
Five-year survival rates for breast cancer are high, but the scars left behind by surgery are a constant reminder. The goal of Hidden Scar is to help promote a woman’s recovery and healing.
“When she’s getting ready in the morning, she’s getting dressed, she’s not thinking about her surgery, she’s not thinking about her cancer,” says Dr. Ryan. “That translates to a higher quality of life.”
In addition to Hidden Scar, Dr. Ryan uses several other oncoplastic techniques that can maintain or even improve the shape of a woman’s breast while effectively treating the cancer.
“We do procedures that incorporate plastic surgery techniques in order to not only make the breast look better,” says Dr. Ryan, “but actually improves the way I remove the tumor. It allows me to take wider margins and have a better assessment of the area where the tumor was found.”
Breast Care Center
Bedford Medical Park, 9 Washington Place
Suite 203, Bedford NH 03110
As published in the Union Leader, November 2, 2021