New advancements hide the scars of breast cancer surgery

When it comes to breast cancer, the doctor’s number one priority is to remove it. But new techniques and technology are now also putting a focus on making sure the breast looks okay.

Thanks to advancements, doctors like those at Texas Health Southwest in Fort Worth are putting more thought into how the breast looks after surgery.

Vickie Spratley’s story is a good example.

“I had been having problems with my right eye for like two years and gone to multiple doctors, eye doctors. They sent me to a dermatologist because they thought it was skin related,” she said.

Her doctor also recommended she get a mammogram. So she went to Texas Health Southwest where she did a 3D mammogram and ultrasound.

“From there, that’s when the rollercoaster started,” she said.

Spratley had cancer in her left breast. They caught it early and now a year later after radiation and two surgeries, she is cancer-free.

“My scar is very small. I was surprised by that because I had to go in a second time. It’s small and hidden. You can’t tell unless you’re really looking for it,” she said.

“We can get really good cosmetic outcomes without compromising on cancer care. If we can do that, why not? It will make everyone feel better,” said Dr. Vaishali Kent, a breast oncology surgeon.

Dr. Kent said in the past the whole breast would be removed, along with muscle and lymph nodes, which could lead to disfiguration. Now there’s more focus on how much is taken out and where the incision is placed.

Plastic surgeons are often brought in to assist.

“I think it’s really important because, of course, everybody cares about taking care of the cancer, making sure the cancer isn't there. That’s everyone’s number one priority. But when you walk away from this situation, you also want to feel good about yourself and how you look in the mirror,” Dr. Kent said.

Thanks to the advancements and early detection, patients like Spratley are healthy and confident.

Her advice… don’t be afraid of a mammogram because it could save your life.

“I say go get it done Suffer through that little bit of pain and get your mammogram done because you never know,” she said.

On Saturday, thousands of people will help raise money for breast cancer awareness and research at the annual Komen Dallas Race for Cure at NorthPark Center. FOX 4 News is a proud sponsor.

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