About Us

Return to Our Team Overview

More on Our Team

Surgical Services

Return to Our Team Overview

More on Our Team

Health Library

Return to Our Team Overview

More on Our Team

Patient and Visitor Guides to our Hospital

Return to Our Team Overview

More on Our Team

Clinical Trials

Return to Our Team Overview

More on Our Team

Breast Surgery

Breast Cancer Surgery

Back to the Breast Center
Home Page
For appointments and information,
please call (646) 962-4240

"Breast cancer surgery is vastly different today from the procedures that were available to women just 15 years ago when radical mastectomy was the norm rather than the exception. How can we improve what we're doing - that's a question that we continually ask ourselves at the Weill Cornell Breast Center."
- Alexander J. Swistel, MD, Associate Professor of Clinical Surgery

Since the earliest days of breast cancer surgery, Weill Cornell Breast Center surgeons have been at the forefront of developing innovative surgical techniques that remove the tumor while saving normal breast tissue for improved reconstructive outcomes.

They continue to pioneer techniques in surgery, providing effective removal of tumors with reconstructive techniques that provide excellent tumor therapy and leave patients without visible scars. These include the newest minimally invasive approaches such as the oncoplastic techniques of:

  • nipple-sparing mastectomy
  • areola-sparing mastectomy
  • lumpectomy in conjunction with breast lift or mammoplasties

Nipple-Sparing Mastectomies

Pioneered by Weill Cornell breast surgeons, nipple-sparing and skin-sparing mastectomies preserve the more natural look and feel of the breasts compared to other forms of mastectomy. The procedures were developed as a way to remove the cancerous tissue through a tiny incision in order to preserve as much normal skin tissue as possible. This allows enhanced nipple reconstruction making it virtually impossible to detect scars or other signs of surgery. Surgeons keep most of the breast's exterior, including the nipple and areola, intact. Offering women an alternative to traditional mastectomy or standard lumpectomy, our surgeons combine surgery to remove the cancer with microvascular techniques and plastic and reconstructive surgery to restore the breasts, contributing to both a patient's physical and emotional health.

Reconstructive Surgery

Prophylactic Mastectomy

Women at high risk for developing breast cancer may consider prophylactic mastectomy in which one or both breasts are surgically removed to prevent or reduce the risk of developing the disease. "A woman's risk of developing breast cancer is greatly increased if she inherits a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation. Cancer is not yet present, but there is a more than 90 percent chance of getting it in her lifetime," says Dr. Swistel. "Prophylactic mastectomy will reduce the woman's risk and by using the nipple-sparing technique, we can remove the breast tissue and reconstruct the breast with an excellent cosmetic result. There is no visible scar and the breast looks natural even though the breast tissue has been removed.

Genetic Risk Assessment Program

Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy


Dr. Rache Simmons

The sentinel lymph node is the first lymph node to which cancer is likely to spread from the primary site. During surgery, to determine if breast cancer cells have spread to the lymph nodes, Weill Cornell surgeons perform sentinel lymph node biopsy. The node is identified by injecting a blue dye and/or a radioactive tracer compound into the area around the tumor without removing a large area of tissue under the arm where the axillary lymph nodes are located. The surgeon then removes the sentinel node or nodes, which are analyzed for the presence of any cancer cells. If cancer is not present then the remaining lymph nodes do not need to be removed. Weill Cornell breast surgeons were among the first to perform sentinel lymph node biopsy -- a procedure that is widely used today.

With recent data indicating that breast surgery does not need to be as aggressive in terms of removal of lymph nodes, Weill Cornell breast surgeons take each patient on a case-by-case basis to determine how much surgery is necessary in the event that there is lymph node involvement.

Contact

Breast Surgery
Directions
(646) 962-4240
Breast Surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital
(646) 962-5213
  • Bookmark
  • Print


Top of page

by Last Name
    by Condition or Specialty
      Surgical Services
        by Last Name
        by Condition or Specialty
        Surgical Services
        View Full Profile

        Mini-Profile

        Phone: (212) 746-6006
        Fax: (212) 746-8753
        Address: 525 E. 68th Street
        Starr 8
        New York, NY 10065
        Clinical Expertise