Nearly 300,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Many get a radical mastectomy with reconstruction. But a groundbreaking medical technique called Hidden Scar offers new hope to women in the form of minimal cutting of the breast and a better cosmetic result.
Amy Case is a website consultant and full-time mother, but a recent mammogram stopped her in her tracks.
“I had a pre-cancerous condition called atypical hyperplasia. It increases your lifetime risk of developing breast cancer and then if you add a family history to that, it significantly increases your lifetime risk,” said Case.
Case chose to undergo a groundbreaking technique called Hidden Scar, in which breast tissue removal and breast implants are done at the same time through a small incision.
Morton Kahlenberg, MD, the Medical Director at Baptist Network for Cancer Care, Baptist Health Systems, San Antonio, Texas said, “The traditional mastectomy has been a wide incision to include the nipple aureole, removal of skin and a very lengthy or longer incision. Now we can affect the same change, meaning removal of the breast tissue by making tinier incisions.”
The incision is hidden under the fold of the breast. Quite appealing to a young mom like Case, who’d never had any surgery, much less a radical mastectomy.
“The plastic surgeon came in to check on me and once I realized I was whole, I looked good, I felt great about it,” said Case.
Doctors say that being able to minimize scarring and restore the breasts reduces the patient’s anxiety level. Amy says after this experience, she appreciates the little things in life.
“I feel for a lot of my adult life I was cruising, in some regard, and now I’m much more conscious of everything,” said Case.
Hidden Scar is available at 100 hospitals around the country, so the doctor advises patients to ask whether they’re a candidate. The surgery also involves nurse navigators who guide patients through the entire cancer surgery process.
Contributors to this news report include: Donna Parker, Field Producer; Bruce Maniscalco, Videographer; Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Hayley Hudson, Assistant Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.