Hartford Healthcare: One-step procedure making mastectomy recovery faster
A woman who was tested and found to be more likely to get breast cancer says she's happy she had a preventative mastectomy.
"I got tested because I actually knew that my mom had the BRCA mutations," said Nancy Presnick.
The 31-year-old decided to have her breast tissue removed before she was diagnosed with cancer.
Her procedure at the Hartford Healthcare Cancer Institute at St Vincent’s Medical Center removed the breast tissue and also included immediate implant reconstruction.
It's a one-stage process that usually takes two stages.
"It takes nothing away from the integrity. It doesn't compromise the surgical care but it's just very easy for patients," said Hartford Healthcare breast surgeon Valerie Brutus.
Brutus says after she removed the tissue, she preserved the skin and nipple.
Then plastic and reconstructive surgeon Stirling Craig forms a new breast literally as soon as she can.
"We can use implants. So silicon or saline and that helps with filling the volume and then we'll use some type of what's called mesh to help recreate the shape of the breast to hold the implant in place," said Craig.
The entire procedure is only available for select candidates but the teamwork of these two surgeons in the operating room makes this possible.
"I think the communication between myself and Dr. Brutus has really allowed us to be able to offer this [to] most patients," said Craig.
Presnick says this one stage procedure cut her recovery time considerably and she was home the next day.
"It went really well, my recovery went really well, and I was fortunate not to have complications, but I have zero regrets. I'm really glad I did it," said Presnick.
Presnick says she went back to work in a couple of weeks.
Check out the St. Vincent website for more information about this one step procedure.