Specialists at UT Southwestern’s Center for Breast Care are, first and foremost, committed to taking care of patients’ breast cancer and ensuring positive outcomes. But because they are also mindful of patients’ long-term quality of life, the specialists endeavor daily – and uniquely – to maximize cosmetic outcomes at the same time they remove the cancer.
This commitment often leads to breast reconstruction surgery performed by a highly specialized UTSW plastic surgeon immediately after a surgical oncologist removes the patient’s cancer.
Leading-Edge Reconstructive Techniques
UT Southwestern is the region’s premier referral center for skin- and nipple-sparing mastectomies and leads innovation in all aspects of breast reconstruction, according to Sumeet S. Teotia, M.D., Director of the Breast Reconstruction Program.
We design and discuss the operations together – from where the incision is made through all the subsequent steps.”Sumeet S. Teotia, M.D.
“Our high success rate with complex microvascular breast reconstruction is a direct result of the collaborative efforts we have between our surgical oncologists and plastic surgeons,” says Dr. Teotia. “We design and discuss the operations together – from where the incision is made through all subsequent steps – a coordinated approach that delivers excellent results.”
Marilyn Leitch, M.D., Director of the UTSW Center for Breast Care, notes that not all patients are candidates for skin- and nipple-sparing mastectomies, but for those who are, they are options worth considering.
“For skin- and nipple-sparing procedures, the patient’s age has less to do with it than the size of the breasts, the location of the tumor in the breast, and the quality of the skin of the breast,” she says. “Other things that influence our choices are underlying medical conditions such as diabetes and a history of active smoking.”
An Interdisciplinary Approach
Even when using a patient’s own tissue is not an option, creating a breast with a natural appearance, one that is appropriate to the patient’s body, is always the team’s goal. According to Dr. Leitch, “team” is the operative word for the Center’s approach, involving the expertise of a wide number of specialists, including surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, plastic surgeons, geneticists, psychosocial experts, and more, all working together.
“The treatment of breast cancer is complex, and it is critical to involve all of these disciplines in the patient’s care to achieve optimal results,” Dr. Leitch says. “We have all the specialists involved in breast care located in the same practice.”
Dr. Leitch notes that too often patients can feel their care is fragmented as they go from one physician to the next and from one location or practice to another.
“We avoid this stress for our patients,” Dr. Leitch says. “We assist the referring physician and the patient by making all the arrangements and appointments for the patients to see the multiple disciplines that will be involved in their care. Our goal is to see any newly referred patient with breast cancer within two working days of the referral.”
Request an Appointment
To refer a patient or request an appointment with Dr. Teotia or Dr. Leitch, call 214-645-8300.