Breast Health Services
Women’s Health and Outpatient Diagnostic Pavilion
St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center's Breast Health Program provides innovative, comprehensive breast care for women of all ages and backgrounds. Ours is a welcoming and supportive environment focusing on:
- Early Breast Cancer Detection
- Advanced Diagnostic Imaging
- Breast Conservation Techniques
- Minimally Invasive Surgeries
- Patient Education
- Holistic Treatment Programs
Our Breast Health Program combines cutting edge technology with personal care and individual attention in offering you a broad range of clinical and support services ranging from diagnostic mammography and screening to breast surgery, reconstructive surgery, treatment and counselling.
Meet our Team:
Anne Green, M.D., Director of Radiology
June Lee, M.D., Director of Breast Health Services Program
Diana Yoon-Schwartz, M.D. , Ph.D., Administrative Director of Reconstructive Microsurgery
Our experienced, compassionate breast health caregivers are a multidisciplinary team of physicians, surgical specialists, nurses, specialized technologists, and radiologists. On staff is also a breast health nurse navigator, who is dedicated to caring for the physical and psychosocial needs and well-being of every patient in our care.
These dedicated breast health care professionals will accompany you along every stage of your visit to St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center. We encourage you to ask questions - to which we promise clear, concise answers – and to take full advantage of our resource center, where you’ll find reference books, medical journals, patient education materials and a resource nurse, who will help you with all of the educational services available to you.
Breast cancer can be a devastating diagnosis. At the St. Catherine’s Breast Health Center, our trained staff will counsel you at each step of your treatment and recovery, and provide you with detailed information on the options available to you. Most of all, they will let you know that you have hope.
Diagnostic Imaging & Breast Cancer Screening
In the fight against breast cancer the message has never been more clear: An annual mammogram is the key to early detection
Medical professionals from the National Cancer Institute, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Cancer Society strongly recommend that all women age 40 and above have annual diagnostic mammograms.
Comprehensive Screening Mammogram Program
Routine screening mammograms are performed six days a week at St. Catherine’s Women’s Health and Outpatient Diagnostic Pavilion on asymptomatic patients. Our mammograms are digital with Computer Assisted Detection (CAD).
The St. Catherine’s Breast Health Center offers a full spectrum of state-of-the-art, accurate diagnostic imaging and breast cancer screening services and procedures.
- Diagnostic Mammography
- Breast Ultrasound
- Stereotactic Breast Biopsy
- Ultrasound-Guided Core Biopsy
- Breast MRI
- Needle Localization
- Bone Density Genetic Evaluation
- Diagnostic Assessments
Oncoplastic breast surgery at St. Catherine’s Breast Health Center uses state-of-the-art surgical techniques and post-operative treatments. Breast surgery is often an essential part of the overall treatment for breast cancer in removing cancerous tumors, to check for the spread of cancer to other parts of the body, and to reconstruct a breast after cancer has been removed.
- Lumpectomy – breast conserving surgery
- Mastectomy – removal of entire breast
Our focus is in providing personal attention in the multidisciplinary care of the patient.
- High Risk Screening
- Family history of breast cancer
- Personal history of chest wall radiation
- Genetic Evaluation
- Genetic Tests
- Benign Breast Problems
- Nipple Discharge
- Breast Pain
- Fibrocystic Condition
- Cystic Breast
- Breast Cancer
- Abnormal Mammogram/Ultrasound
- Breast Mass
- Second Opinions
Our breast health care team will conduct a detailed evaluation and work with you to determine which surgical options will provide you with the best possible health outcome, and to answer the many
Questions we are frequently asked regarding breast cancer surgery.
How long is breast cancer surgery?
Each surgery varies depending on the nature of the procedure. Some can take minutes while others might be several hours. An average bilateral mastectomy and expander reconstruction is 3-4 hours for the entire combined procedure.
How long is the hospital stay after breast cancer surgery?
Some procedures are outpatient (go home same day). Other procedures, particularly those that involve reconstruction may require a hospital stay of 1-3 days depending on the type of reconstruction.
Does my insurance cover this procedure?
We will verify insurance coverage for each procedure. However, please note that there is a Federal law that protects you with regard to coverage for reconstruction.
The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA) of 1998 (signed into law on Oct 21, 1998) helps protect many women with breast cancer who choose to have their breasts rebuilt (reconstructed) after a mastectomy. Mastectomy is surgery to remove all or part of the breast. This federal law requires most group insurance plans that cover mastectomies to also cover breast reconstruction.
Under the WHCRA, mastectomy benefits must cover:
Reconstruction of the breast that was removed by mastectomy
- Surgery and reconstruction of the other breast to make the breasts look symmetrical or balanced after mastectomy
- Any external breast prostheses ([pros-thee-sees] breast forms that fit into your bra) that are needed before or during the reconstruction
- Any physical complications at all stages of mastectomy, including lymphedema fluid build-up in the arm and chest on the side of the surgery)
The Breast Cancer Patient Education Act (BCPEA) was passed on Dec 18, 2015 and required the Health and Human Services secretary to plan and implement an education campaign to inform breast cancer patients about the availability and coverage of breast reconstruction, and other post-mastectomy alternatives such as prostheses.
Are breast implants safe?
There are two general types of breast implants available in the U.S. -- saline and silicone. Both consist of a silicone outer shell; the difference is what's inside the implants. Saline implants are filled with saline and silicone breast implants are filled with silicone gel. In 1992 the FDA restricted the use of silicone implants and only saline implants were available for breast augmentation. In 2006, after 14 years of reviewing research and finding no connection between silicone implants and disease, the FDA approved the sale of certain silicone breast implants.
What is microsurgery?
Reconstructive microsurgery is a surgical field where specialized operating microscopes and precision instrumentation are utilized to perform intricate and delicate operations. Utilizing magnification up to fifty times that produced by the naked eye and stitches finer than a hair, surgeons are able to repair transected blood vessels and nerves less than 1mm in diameter. The ability to reconnect blood flow to small vessels and nerves have enabled microsurgeons to restore form and function to those impaired by trauma and cancer. Microsurgery is utilized to perform the DIEP procedure.
The Breast Health team at St. Catherine’s understands and appreciates the fact that the loss of a breast is a trying experience both physically and emotionally. To best address these concerns our skilled plastic and reconstructive surgeons perform state-of-the-art techniques that rebuild a lost breast at the time of the mastectomy. These options include:
- Expander Implant Reconstruction
- Direct to Implant Reconstruction
- DIEP Flap (deep inferior epigastric perforator) and SIEA Flap (superficial inferior epigastric perforator) Reconstruction
- Latissimus Flap Reconstruction
DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction – This new surgical technique is named for the main blood vessel that runs through the tissue that is used to reconstruct a breast. Because no muscle is removed, this technique decreases post-surgical pain and expedites recovery time.
In the DIEP flap, the lower abdominal skin and fat is removed without having to harvest any of the rectus abdominis muscle. Instead, blood supply is provided through the perforator vessels that run through the rectus muscle. Once the DIEP flap is raised, microsurgical technique is used to transplant the tissue to blood vessels on the chest wall. The tissue is used to create a breast mound from the abdominal fat and skin. The DIEP is a delicate procedure and will take longer to perform. However, due to the preservation of the rectus muscle, this procedure minimizes the injury to the abdomen, resulting in less pain, less abdominal donor site complications, and a faster recovery as compared with TRAM flaps.
Learn more about DIEP Surgery at St. Catherine’s Breast Health Center
Surgical techniques such as the DIEP offer breast cancer patients an immediate option for reconstruction and the prospects for a healthy medical outcome and overall improvement of the quality of your life following surgery.
In addition, the reconstructive surgery team is expert at DO-OVER reconstruction.
For example, if you are unhappy with your current reconstruction or having problems with your reconstruction, contact our Administrative Director of Reconstructive Microsurgery to explore your options.
If you are in need of breast health care, call or visit the St. Catherine’s Breast Health Center and experience our personal, boutique-style treatment and the difference our dedicated team will make in helping you cope and recover from breast cancer and other related breast health conditions.