In 2010, there were 207,090 reported new cases of breast cancer among women and 39,840 deaths due to the disease.
*Source: National Cancer Institute
Understanding Breast Surgery
Breast surgery at WellStar Health System includes non-cosmetic surgical procedures designed to treat diseases of the breast, most commonly cancer, and the follow-up reconstruction surgeries to restore the appearance of the breast.
WellStar Health System provides comprehensive, full-spectrum breast diagnostic and treatment options. In addition, WellStar offers a range of support services to help patients and their families throughout this treatment journey, from counseling to exercise and nutritional services.
WellStar was the first breast center in Georgia to be granted a full three-year accreditation designation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC). In addition, WellStar offers innovative advantages in the fight against breast cancer, including:
- Dedicated breast surgeons, who practice state-of-the-art care, including minimally invasive biopsy procedures and less invasive surgery for breast cancer
- Medical oncologists who specialize in breast cancer and provide patients with access to advances through clinical trials
- Radiation oncologists offering the latest in treatment options, including APBI or accelerated partial breast irradiation – which allows patients to complete their treatment in five days, versus the traditional five-to-six week regimen
- Cutting-edge digital imaging, including dedicated breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and the ability to perform minimally invasive image-guided breast biopsies
- Clinical trials – more than 200 patients are currently enrolled in WellStar programs
- A comprehensive support network for cancer patients and their families, that includes counseling, cosmetic support for the side effects of treatment, lymphedema prevention and management, and exercise programs designed for better health
- One of the most active genetic counseling programs in Georgia
Preparation and recovery from breast surgery differ depending on the type of procedure, but generally all of them require general anesthesia and a couple of weeks of recovery. Most surgeries for partial breast removal or breast reconstruction can be completed on an out-patient basis, while mastectomies generally require a hospital stay of a day or two. Some surgeries require the placement of tubes for one or two weeks to help with post-surgical draining. Your surgeon will provide specific instructions for both preparations and recovery.
For many of these procedures, particularly if completed for cancer treatment, the surgery serves as one part of the treatment and is typically followed by radiation therapy or chemotherapy.