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Prior to undergoing a breast reduction, it is the standard of care to have an up to date mammogram for women of at least a certain age (which can vary). The purpose of this is to screen for any abnormalities that may need to be addressed prior to surgery. If a suspicious mass or area is noted that raises concerns for possibly being of malignant potential, a biopsy can be performed prior to the planned procedure. If the results are benign, then one can proceed with the breast reduction. Conversely, if the biopsy results reveal breast cancer, then treatment of this would be to be undertaken rather than the originally proposed breast reduction.

Mammograms do not identify every single case of breast cancer. A small percentage of breast cancers that are early or very small can evade detection with this method of screening but can be identified pathologically. These “occult” cancers are the reason why the breast tissue removed in the performance of a breast reduction is always sent for pathological evaluation.

Scientific studies have been done to investigate the incidence of these occult cancers in women who have undergone a breast reduction. The percentage is very low, somewhere in the range of 0.16% to 0.40%. Despite having been diagnosed with breast cancer, these women are lucky in that their tumors were identified early on, offering them a very high cure rate with appropriate treatment. If they hadn’t been seeking a breast reduction, it is likely that many of these cancers might not have been identified until they were larger and with a less favorable prognosis.

The following patient of mine exemplifies this scenario. She presented for a breast reduction at age 39, wearing a size 34G bra, no family history of breast cancer and with a normal mammogram. A reduction mammoplasty was successfully performed and she had an otherwise unremarkable postoperative course. However, the pathology report of her removed breast tissue revealed early cancer.

After consulting with a general surgeon, she underwent bilateral mastectomies with immediate reconstruction. The following photos illustrate her preoperative appearance, immediately following her breast reduction and appearance after reconstruction.

Before Breast Reduction - Frontal view

Before Breast Reduction - Frontal view

Before Breast Reduction - Side view

Before Breast Reduction - Side view

Immediately following Breast Reduction - Frontal view

Immediately following Breast Reduction - Frontal view

Immediately following Breast Reduction - Side view

Immediately following Breast Reduction - Side view

After Breast Reconstruction - Frontal view in bra

After Breast Reconstruction - Frontal view in bra

After Breast Reconstruction - Frontal view

After Breast Reconstruction - Frontal view

After Breast Reconstruction - Oblique view

After Breast Reconstruction - Oblique view

After Breast Reconstruction - Oblique view in bra

After Breast Reconstruction - Oblique view in bra

Following Breast Reconstruction - Side view

Following Breast Reconstruction - Side view

Following Breast Reconstruction - Side view in bra

Following Breast Reconstruction - Side view in bra

If you would like to obtain additional information on breast reduction, breast reconstruction or any other cosmetic surgery procedure that I perform or to schedule a consultation, you can contact my office at 480-451-3000.

Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona

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A Message Regarding Coronavirus/COVID-19

In light of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, we would like to let you know of some of the major precautions we are taking in our office to maximize cleanliness and keep the environment as sanitary and safe as possible. Our highest priority is always to ensure the safety of every individual who sees us and we are taking extreme infection-control measures to maintain cleanliness and “sterility” of surfaces and the overall environment.

We will be limiting dates and times for office appointments and consultations due to safety and other issues. Consequently, if you have already made an office appointment or consultation prior to March 18, 2020 to occur at a later time, this may need to be changed.

For anyone considering plastic surgery, we are now offering Virtual Consultations and Telemedicine through Skype. A great number of aesthetic or insurance-related issues can be evaluated via pictures and online video conferencing, making this an excellent way to find out more about particular procedures, determine candidacy for treatment, receive answers to questions and facilitate being able to move forward with care once the government lifts all restrictions.

In an abundance of caution, we are asking all current patients who are experiencing a fever, cough, chills, fatigue or any type of respiratory illness to please delay any upcoming appointments at our practice. We can talk with you by phone or email to establish a new date and time for the appointment.

We are all in this together. Our team urges everyone to follow the guidelines recommended by local health authorities and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which include frequent handwashing for a minimum of 20 seconds, social distancing, staying home if you are feeling sick, and contacting your healthcare provider if you feel you are experiencing symptoms.

For more information, please read our blog – Coronavirus and You: Important Information

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