SAN ANTONIO – A new type of breast cancer surgery being performed at two San Antonio hospitals leaves patients with no visible scars.
Dr. Morton Kahlenberg, a surgical oncologist with Baptist Health System, said hidden scar surgery removes cancerous breast tissue or at-risk breast tissue.
"(It's for) patients who either have cancer or found to be an increase risk for the development of cancer," Kahlenberg said. "... a scar is hidden strategically such that when a woman stands up or is looking in the mirror that scar is hidden."
The technology works by enabling superior intra-cavity illumination and visualization with a special lighting that stays cool during the procedure and enhances precision, efficiency and safety during the operation.
Kahlenberg said patients are evaluated to make sure they're candidates.
Amy Case found some areas of concern during a routine mammogram in January, and while she doesn't have cancer, there were abnormal findings in the exam.
"With those findings and my family history, I am at risk over my life time for breast cancer at a greater level than the average population," Case said.
She decided to try the surgery and was shocked by the outcome.
"I had a bilateral mastectomy. They did use the hidden-scar technique, where the incision is in the informary fold," Case said. "I was actually scared to look after the surgery and my plastic surgeon said it's OK to look. I was amazed."
Case hopes her story helps someone else who's going through something similar.
"Talk to doctors. Get all the options. And take some time to think about it if you have the time and you're fortunate to have the time and look at several different options," Case said.
The surgery is offered at Northeast Baptist Hospital and North Central Baptist Hospital.