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Ask the Doctor: Nirav Savalia, M.D.

Q. Why should I consider saving my breast if I’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer?

A: At Hoag, we understand that a diagnosis of breast cancer is difficult, but it’s important to understand that you have treatment options. Hoag offers a variety of innovative treatment options for breast cancer and the experience of a highly-trained clinical team to offer you a blend of comfortable and personalized care.

We have the full complement of reconstructive techniques available including oncoplastic surgery, implant-based reconstruction, autologous fat transfer and autologous microsurgical reconstruction. Hoag is a leading institution in oncoplastic breast reconstruction, which combines oncoplastic breast surgery and plastic surgery techniques. Oncoplastic surgery not only removes the cancer, but it allows a woman to save her breast, prevent undue distortion of the breast and maintain an aesthetically pleasing breast after the treatment of cancer is complete.

Hoag Breast Program is one of a few programs nationwide to perform oncoplastic breast reconstruction and our re-excision rate for lumpectomies with oncoplastic surgery is significantly lower than the national average. We encourage women to seek a second opinion to see if oncoplastic surgery is right for them.

We also perform state-of-the-art reconstruction with discreet scars after nipple-areola sparing mastectomies and use advanced techniques with breast implants, tissue expanders and acellular dermal matrix, to improve support and protection. Often times, we are able to perform a one step, direct-to-implant reconstruction. This allows placement of the final breast implant at the same time as the mastectomy, eliminating the need for an additional surgery.

Hoag also offers sophisticated methods of autologous breast reconstruction and can utilize the patient’s own tissue, by taking fat, skin and blood vessels from other areas of the body to reconstruct your breast, such as DIEP flaps (from the abdomen), latissimus flaps (from the upper back), gluteal flaps (from the buttock) and thigh flaps. We also offer fat grafting as an adjunctive procedure with a mastectomy reconstruction to restore a soft and natural appearing breast by injecting the patient’s own fat to areas of the breast that could benefit from it.

Nirav Savalia, M.D., is the director of oncoplastic and aesthetic breast surgery at Hoag.