The Saint Elizabeth Breast Care Center is helping women through a breast cancer diagnosis by providing innovative services and excellent care to patients through a team approach.
Two plastic surgeons, Dr. Todd Orchard and Dr. Mathieu Hinze, are an instrumental part of the process. They provide mastectomy reconstruction with a direct-to-implant, or “one-step” approach which allows for immediate reconstruction. This approach is best suited for patients with good preservation of the breast skin after mastectomy.
A permanent implant is inserted immediately following the mastectomy, forgoing the initial placement of a tissue expander and subsequent expansion process. Tissue expansion uses an expander placed in the breast tissue to create a pocket to hold the implant and recovery can take up to five months. In contrast, patients of Dr. Orchard and Dr. Hinze typically recover from immediate reconstruction in three to four weeks as it eliminates the need for tissue expansion.
Five years ago, Dr. Orchard and Dr. Hinze set out to improve the experience of their breast cancer patients by researching this procedure. In 2008, they performed the first immediate reconstruction procedure at Saint Elizabeth. Today, they continue to provide options and their patients are very pleased with the results.
“In the immediate area, I’m not aware of anyone else that offers direct-to-implant reconstruction. We started immediate reconstruction procedures because we wanted to help our patients get back to their lives quicker,” says Dr. Hinze. “The positive response we get from our patients that undergo this procedure is overwhelming. This allows patients to get back to their daily lives more quickly which is part of the healing process.”
“Instead of waking up and seeing a scar and flat chest, our patients see their reconstruction. This allows women after their breast cancer surgery to have a psychological boost. They know they are on their way to recovery,” explains Dr. Orchard.
“Physicians at the Breast Care Center work together to make the time from diagnosis to surgery as quick as possible for the patient. It is a great collaborative approach to caring for the patient,” says Orchard. “The immediate reconstruction that Dr. Hinze and I perform is cutting edge, so much so that many people can’t find it in major metropolitan areas.”
Saint Elizabeth Breast Care Center offers patients a team approach to care. An oncologist, cancer nurse navigator, genetic counselor, general surgeon, plastic surgeon, pathologist and radiologist all work together to optimize the care for patients.