A breast clinic operates in our center as part of the breast surgery department. The clinic provides clinical examinations, obtains a complete individual and family history of breast and records each woman’s data, in order to get a complete record for patient follow-ups.
The breast clinic is the main department dealing with breast diseases and is staffed by experienced and renowned breast surgeons throughout the day. In addition to breast palpation, every woman’s examinations – mammography, ultrasound, blood tests – are evaluated in partnerships with our specialists. This way we get a comprehensive approach, are able to propose personalized treatments, tailored to each case, and put each of our patients into the appropriate follow-up program for them.
The successful outcome of any treatment for breast problems depends, to a large extent, on early diagnosis and treatment. Preventive screening by a qualified physician is considered essential. The database we have established allows us to notify our patients by phone of their next appointment, as part of their regular check-ups.
MODERN BREAST SURGERY
Into the last decades, breast surgery has evolved into an autonomous surgical specialty, practiced by breast surgeons. This happened as our knowledge on the subject of breast diseases has been greatly enriched and also many new surgical techniques have found application in daily clinical practice. A few decades ago, the diagnosis of breast cancer led to a mastectomy and axillary lymph node dissection, a major, excruciatingly painful amputation. Such large-scale surgical procedures are rarely performed in our days.
Regular screening of the female population, which includes mammography, ultrasound and clinical examination by a mammology specialist, has led to the discovery of breast cancer at a very early stage, when it is still small and potentially curable. Early diagnosis allows us to intervene therapeutically with smaller surgeries, which we call conservative surgeries, where we no longer remove the entire breast, but only a small portion of it. In addition, the oncoplasty techniques we use to repair the resulting deficit lead to excellent aesthetic results, without the patient experiencing the loss of her breast. Complementary treatments following conservative surgery, most notably radiotherapy, have an equivalent therapeutic effect.
A revolution in axillary lymph node surgery has been the sentinel lymph node biopsy technique. In the last years, axillary lymph node dissection is no longer necessary in order to determine whether the lymph nodes have been infected with cancer cells. The lymph nodes that receive lymph directly from the tumor area are marked with a specific radiopharmaceutical and a dye before surgery is initiated. These lymph nodes are called sentinels and they are the first to be affected if the disease has spread to the armpit, whereas if these lymph nodes are clean, we can rest assured that the other lymph nodes will not be affected. During surgery, breast surgeons locate and remove only the sentinel lymph nodes to be examined microscopically and, if they are free of cancer cells, the armpit is no longer cleaned. The advantages of this technique are less postoperative pain, faster recovery, no numbness in the upper limb and no swelling.