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Release Date: 10/14/2016

Two surgeons with The Breast Health Center at Women & Infants Hospital have been certified in an innovative new technique called Hidden Scar Breast Surgery, the first in Rhode Island and among the first in the entire region to achieve such certification. Four other Care New England breast surgeons affiliated with Women & Infants and Kent hospitals are also working on certification.

“This is an approach to breast cancer surgery that attempts to hide the scar in areas not easily visible to the patient or others, such as the inframammary fold, the peri-areola margin or the axillary crease,” explains Jennifer Gass, MD, co-director of the Breast Health Center at Women & Infants and the hospital’s surgeon-in-chief. “This allows us to remove the cancer safely while reducing visible scarring.”

Certified through the program offered by manufacturer Invuity Inc., are: Dr. Gass, who sees patients at both Women & Infants and soon Memorial Hospital, and David Edmonson, MD, of Women & Infants. Pursuing certification are: Candace Dyer, MD, of the Breast Health Center at Kent; Sonali Pandya, MD, and Ashley Stuckey, MD, who both see patients at Women & Infants and Kent; and Hannah Bansil, MD, of Women & Infants.

The technique utilizes Invuity’s Intelligent Photonics™ technology to illuminate the breast cavity and improve the surgeon’s visibility during a lumpectomy and nipple sparing mastectomy. While enabling the surgeon to perform complex surgeries with greater confidence, it also gives the patient a transformative surgical option.

“When a woman has surgery to remove breast cancer, we will do anything to help eliminate the daily reminder of the disease, including using this cosmetic procedure to hide the telling scars,” Dr. Edmonson says.

Each year, approximately 232,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer that requires surgery. Patients who undergo Hidden Scar Breast Cancer Surgery experience optimal clinical and cosmetic outcomes and are at no higher risk of recurrence than patients who undergo any other surgical technique.

Hidden Scar technology augments the tools breast surgeons have available to them to improve the cosmetic outcome of breast cancer surgery. Drs. Gass and Edmonson are also trained in oncoplastic surgery, a novel surgical procedure that combines the best techniques in plastic surgery with oncologic surgery to remove breast cancer while preserving and reconstructing the breasts in the most natural looking way at the time the cancer is removed.

For more information on breast health or surgery with the Hidden Scar technology, call Women & Infants’ Breast Health Center at (401) 453-7540.

About Women & Infants Hospital

Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, a Care New England hospital, is one of the nation’s leading specialty hospitals for women and newborns. A major teaching affiliate of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University for obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics, as well as a number of specialized programs in women’s medicine, Women & Infants is the 9th largest stand-alone obstetrical service in the country and the largest in New England with approximately 8,500 deliveries per year. A Designated Baby-Friendly® USA hospital, U.S.News & World Report 2014-15 Best Children’s Hospital in Neonatology and a 2014 Leapfrog Top Hospital, in 2009 Women & Infants opened what was at the time the country’s largest, single-family room neonatal intensive care unit.

Women & Infants and Brown offer fellowship programs in gynecologic oncology, maternal-fetal medicine, urogynecology and reconstructive pelvic surgery, neonatal-perinatal medicine, pediatric and perinatal pathology, gynecologic pathology and cytopathology, and reproductive endocrinology and infertility. It is home to the nation’s first mother-baby perinatal psychiatric partial hospital, as well as the nation’s only fellowship program in obstetric medicine.

Women & Infants has been designated as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiography; a Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology; a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence by the National Institutes of Health (NIH); and a Neonatal Resource Services Center of Excellence. It is one of the largest and most prestigious research facilities in high risk and normal obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics in the nation, and is a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Gynecologic Oncology Group and the Pelvic Floor Disorders Network.
Women & Infants Hospital News

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Amy Blustein
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800 Butler Drive
Providence, RI 02906
P: (401) 681-2822 
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E: ablustein@carene.org