Breast Cancer surgery
and reconstruction

Opening the dialogue for patient options



It’s been 34 years since Breast Cancer Awareness Month was created. In that time, millions of Americans will have been diagnosed and treated for breast cancer with an estimated 271,000 in this year alone.1 During these 34 years we’ve made considerable progress in the evolution of treatment, research toward a cure, and dispelling myths about the epidemiology of the disease (including the notion that bras caused breast cancer).2

As therapy options emerge and evolve, women facing invasive breast cancer require a team of experts from across specialties to support them on their journey. Surgeons and their team can play a significant role in helping patients know their options and make informed decisions about their care.

Building a dialogue surrounding options, what to expect and resources available for support can reinforce your commitment to personalized care.

Here are some discussion points to get you started:


Patient: "What are my surgical options, and why?"

Discussing a patient’s well-being before surgery can help inform surgical treatment options. 

  • Will the patient be undergoing mastectomy, lumpectomy or excisional biopsy? 
  • Have they opted for reconstruction?
  • Do they have concerns about scarring after surgery? 

Walking through these questions can set realistic expectations for the patient.


While some may see their scars as an empowering symbol, many do not. Research shows that breast surgery scars may impact a woman's psychological and emotional well-being, as well as quality of life after surgery.4 Having a conversation about options from the outset can make all the difference down the road. There are a number of surgical options available, including the Hidden Scar Breast Cancer Surgery, an advanced surgical approach in which breast surgeons remove cancerous tissue through a single incision made in inconspicuous areas to minimize visible scarring. Surgeons can use Hidden Scar Surgery in either a mastectomy or lumpectomy procedure. This technique is as effective in treating breast cancer as past traditional breast cancer surgery, and it also preserves a natural-looking breast.

of women are self-conscious due to scars from breast cancer surgery.3


If a patient is considering breast reconstruction, one of the first things to determine is whether they will undergo implant-based or autologous reconstruction. Empowering your patients and agreeing on the technique and timing for reconstruction is also important. Reconstruction options include:

  • Immediate/ Direct-to-Implant breast reconstruction
  • Staged implant-based breast reconstruction
  • Delayed breast reconstruction
  • Autologous breast reconstruction

Only 23% of women know the wide range of breast reconstruction options available to them.5


Patient: "How are these different procedures performed?"

Discussing what will happen during a patient’s surgery can be an opportunity to educate and reassure them of the surgical team’s commitment to their health and a successful surgery.

Invuity photonics technology

For patients who are concerned about surgical scars, the Hidden Scar approach can be performed for a nipple sparing mastectomy or a lumpectomy procedure. Invuity photonics products are designed to optimize breast and reconstructive surgery especially when performing Hidden Scar breast cancer surgery, nipple sparing / skin sparing mastectomy, breast conserving surgery (lumpectomy), and oncoplastic and reconstruction surgeries. Intelligent Photonics provide breast and plastic surgeons access and visualization during surgery to achieve optimal surgical and aesthetic outcomes, while enabling innovative minimally invasive surgeries.

SPY Fluorescence technology

Adequate blood flow is crucial to surgical success and the body’s ability to heal. Even a few hours of impaired blood flow can cause damage that can lead to post-operative complications. Advancements in technology, such as SPY Fluorescence Imaging, can help provide surgeons with real-time visualization of tissue perfusion during breast reconstruction, which may help a surgeon make certain decisions to improve surgical outcomes.6 SPY-PHI Fluorescence Imaging technology uses a near-infrared low powered laser light source to stimulate a fluorescent imaging agent that has been injected into the blood stream. This makes it possible for surgeons to visualize blood flow in real-time.

Utilizing SPY-PHI to visualize perfusion during breast reconstruction

SPY Technology and Indocyanine Green (ICG) should not be used during procedures with patients who are known to be sensitive to iodides or iodinated contrast agents.
SPY Technology and Photonics Technology have not been cleared or approved by the FDA, and are otherwise not intended, for combined use within a procedure.


Patient: "What will
recovery be like?"

Every surgery is different, and we understand that the healing and recovery phase won’t be the same for everyone.

One constant during this period is Support! Support during this time is key. Here are some common ways patients can set themselves on the path to healing:


Prepare patients with a post-surgery checklist that you review with them and that they can share with their family or caregiver.


If possible, patients should arrange to have a family member, friend or partner help with transportation and daily tasks immediately after surgery.

Support groups 

Review a list of support groups, which can help people find support and community. A partial list of resources can be found here.