Over the past 30 years, survival rates of breast cancer patients have increased due to factors like early detection, patient education and evolving treatment methods such as mastectomies. Stony Brook surgeons Anastasia Bakoulis, DO, and Tara Huston, MD, are committed to improving the quality of life for post-mastectomy breast cancer surgery survivors.
“At Stony Brook, we are centered not only around the treatment of cancer, but also focusing on improving quality of survival for our patients,” said Bakoulis.
The popularity of reconstruction for mastectomy patients has increased as breast cancer survival rates have increased, yet Bakoulis and Huston say there is one aspect of the post-mastectomy, post-reconstruction process that has not been given enough attention to provide the best outcomes for these patients. Up to 80 percent of women who have a mastectomy experience pain or numbness in their chest wall. The doctors believe that neurotization — the process of maintaining or restoring sensation to the breast following mastectomy — is the answer to retaining and/or restoring sensation for these patients.
“As patient advocates who are passionately devoted to the best possible outcomes for our breast patients, we are very eager to share this with the Stony Brook community,” said Houston.
Doctors Bakoulis and Huston have been trained, as a team, to perform sensory preservation and restoration via neurotization. They plan to train doctors in both Stony Brook’s Breast and Plastic Surgery divisions so that more teams can offer this option to mastectomy patients.
Learn more about the procedure in the full article on the Stony Brook Medicine website.