You have a choice in your health care. By choosing OHC breast surgeons, you partner with the region’s leading specialists in the full spectrum of breast care.
Our fellowship-trained breast surgeons are part of a multidisciplinary team of leading experts that include medical oncologists, hematologists, blood and marrow transplant specialists, cellular therapy specialists, gynecologic oncologists, and radiation oncologists; radiology, pathology, and plastic surgery. Working collaboratively, they execute a personalized treatment plan for you to optimize positive outcomes.
Meet Our Breast Surgeons
What is a Breast Surgical Oncologist?
A breast surgical oncologist is a surgeon who specializes in breast cancer surgery. OHC’s specialized breast cancer surgeons are board certified and have completed additional fellowship training in breast cancer care. They have an in-depth knowledge of cancer biology, breast imaging, genetics, and the most advanced surgical options to help patients achieve the best outcome. With years of extensive training and education, they use specialized techniques to tailor their surgical approach to each patient’s individual needs.
Experience and Fellowship Training Matter
When faced with a breast cancer diagnosis, you should have peace of mind knowing that you have made the best decision for your care. Breast cancer treatment often begins with surgery, and surgical outcomes pave the way for the cancer treatments that follow. As fellowship-trained breast surgeons, OHC’s Dr. Melchior and Dr. Tremelling are recognized as experts in their ability to diagnose and care for breast cancer. After completing a general surgery residency, they were accepted into a Breast Surgical Oncology Fellowship program where they completed an additional year of advanced surgical and interdisciplinary training and education gaining in-depth knowledge of breast cancer biology, genetics, and the most advanced surgical options available.
It is important to select a highly qualified surgeon who specializes in breast cancer surgery. Many surgeons occasionally operate on breast cancer patients, typically handling only a few cases each year. Specialized breast cancer surgeons have dedicated their professional careers to the disease and perform hundreds of breast cancer surgeries every year.
Our Team Approach to Breast Cancer Care
Breast cancer treatment is complex. The collaboration of a multidisciplinary team of experts from specialized fields within oncology is critical. Your OHC breast surgeon and care team will guide you through every step of therapy, from diagnosis through treatment and survivorship. Together, we will develop a personalized treatment plan based on your individual diagnosis. We will also discuss your individual life circumstances as they relate to your care. This integrated care model alleviates patient stress and ensures patients achieve the best possible outcomes. OHC will surround you with everything you need so you can focus on what matters most: beating cancer.
Why Choose OHC Breast Surgical Oncology
When you hear the word cancer, everything stops. OHC surrounds you with the region’s leading cancer experts, innovative cancer therapies, clinical trials, and unmatched personal support to provide a personalized treatment program. We continue to surpass national benchmarks for patient satisfaction and deliver the highest quality outcomes and value-based care.
In addition to breast surgeons, OHC’s multidisciplinary team includes medical, gynecologic, and radiation oncologists, and collaboration with radiology, pathology, and plastic surgery to offer:
- Leading-edge technology and diagnostic tools to diagnose conditions and provide personalized therapies.
- Timely test results- same-day mammogram and ultrasound results and biopsy results in 48 hours.
- Financial and nurse navigator assistance to assure coordinated care, facilitate support services, and provide for an optimal experience.
- Coordinated care in one location.
- High-Risk Breast Program for women at high risk of breast cancer, including those with a family history of breast cancer or gene mutation.
- Nationally recognized cancer research and clinical trials program offers patients early access to the newest most innovative therapies.
- Supportive Care Program– in-depth support and/or assistance to address patient needs and help them maintain the best possible quality of life.
- Survivorship Program– care team members will help patients make the transition to life after cancer treatment.
- OHC Specialty Retail Pharmacy– specialized pharmacy services exclusive to OHC patients provided by pharmacists who are members of your care team.
- Cancer Genetic Program– genetic counseling and testing with a breast cancer genetic specialist for anyone at risk for a hereditary cancer syndrome.
- Call Us Early. Call Us First. Nurse Triage Center– OHC patients can call the center to share symptoms and receive an immediate assessment by an oncology-trained nurse in between the hours of 7am-5pm.
What Is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer is a broad term for any cancer that originates in breast tissue. The average risk of a woman in the U.S. being diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in her lifetime is about 13 percent, or one in eight women. There are many different types of breast cancer and OHC’s breast surgical oncologists treat each patient individually.
OHC provides you with breast surgeons who have extensive expertise in breast cancer in all its forms. They are highly skilled in the latest technology, minimally invasive advanced surgical techniques, and the most promising new treatments to surround you with everything you need to focus on what matters most–beating cancer.
Surgical procedures are commonly used to treat breast cancer. OHC’s breast surgeons will involve you in your treatment plan to determine the best surgical option(s) for you. These may include:
- Breast-conserving surgery (or partial mastectomy)– A partial mastectomy is commonly known as a lumpectomy. This is a breast-conserving surgery that removes the area of cancer, while preserving most of the patient’s breast. It is a common surgical option for women with smaller cancers. Many women who have breast conserving surgery will also need radiation.
- Oncoplastic breast surgery (or oncoplastic lumpectomy)– Plastic surgery techniques are combined with a lumpectomy to allow for the removal of larger cancers with improved cosmetic outcomes. Your breast surgeon will work simultaneously with the plastic surgeon for these procedures.
- Mastectomy– A mastectomy is the surgical removal of the breast. Different types of mastectomy include:
- Simple or total mastectomy– Removes the breast tissue along with the overlying skin, nipple, and areola. The chest wall is flat following this procedure.
- Skin-sparing mastectomy– This technique removes the breast tissue, nipple, and areola while preserving as much of the breast skin as possible for reconstruction purposes. A plastic surgeon then uses this skin to perform breast reconstruction.
- Nipple-sparing mastectomy– This is a variation of a skin-sparing mastectomy that preserves the nipple and areola. Reconstruction by a plastic surgeon would also be performed in this setting.
- Prophylactic/risk-reducing mastectomy- This is a type of mastectomy being done for a woman who does not have breast cancer but is at a high risk of developing cancer in the future (such as a woman with a breast cancer gene mutation), or for a woman who does not have breast cancer and wishes to have her opposite breast removed to decrease the risk of breast cancer in that breast.
- Collaboration with plastic surgery for breast reconstruction– If you are going to have a mastectomy, breast reconstruction is an option. Breast reconstruction may improve your body image and restore your body posture and balance. The procedure can be done either at the same time as the mastectomy (immediate) or following the surgery (delayed or staged). It often requires multiple surgeries to complete reconstruction. There are two main types of breast reconstruction: using the patient’s own tissue (autologous reconstruction) or using an implant.
- Hidden scar surgery (https://breastcancersurgery.com/) – Using this advanced surgical approach, the breast surgeon will place the patient’s incision in a location where the scar is difficult to detect once it heals. OHC breast surgeons can proceed with the technique after evaluating the size and location of a tumor and the shape and size of the breast(s). Candidates for hidden scar surgery typically have:
- A small tumor compared to the size of the breast.
- A tumor confined to a specific area of the breast.
- A small enough tumor allowing for the surgeon to remove the tumor and some margin of normal tissue surrounding it.
- Cancerous cells that have not spread to the nipple.
- Lymph node surgery– To determine if breast cancer has spread to the nearby lymph nodes in the armpit (axilla), OHC breast surgeons may recommend a lymph node surgery. There are two types of lymph node surgeries:
- Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB)– This procedure uses a dye(s) injected into the breast to identify sentinel nodes, which are the first lymph node(s) that breast cancer will travel to. A small incision is made under the armpit, and then these lymph nodes are removed and sent to the pathologist. Most commonly, one-to-three lymph nodes are removed.
- Axillary lymph node dissection (ALND)-This procedure may be recommended in certain situations, such as if a woman has multiple lymph nodes that contain cancer. In this procedure, about 10-20 lymph nodes from under the armpit (axilla) are removed.
- Excisional breast biopsy– A surgery used to remove a suspicious area of breast tissue for further examination. This is a type of lumpectomy.
- Mediport placement– A port is a small medical device surgically placed beneath the skin in the chest area that can deliver medicine (like chemotherapy) into the bloodstream.
OHC Clinical Trials
OHC’s team of cancer experts uses the most advanced treatments for your plan of care and has a nationally recognized clinical trials program that evaluates the newest, most promising cancer treatments. OHC partners with US Oncology Research, an experienced network of more than 800 dedicated researchers with access to more than 400 Phase 1-4 clinical trials. The network has played a role in more than 100 FDA-approved cancer therapies. Ask your care team if a clinical trial is available for you.
What Are Benign Breast Conditions?
A benign breast condition is a breast problem that is not cancerous. While these are not life-threatening, certain benign breast conditions may increase your risk of developing breast cancer in the future. Benign breast conditions that increase breast cancer risk are referred to as high-risk lesions.
OHC provides you with breast surgeons who are up-to-date on the latest guidelines for high-risk screening and breast cancer prevention.