The primary goal of my practice is to carefully consider each individual’s situation in order to determine the best treatment plan. This includes thoroughly reviewing imaging studies which have been done, and determining if more are needed; considering whether surgery is the right first treatment, or whether other therapies such as chemotherapy or hormonal therapy should be used first; and reviewing biopsy information to learn as much as possible from already available pathology in order to make the best treatment recommendations.
The Dubin Center, which emphasizes multidisciplinary care with breast surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, oncologists, plastic surgeons and other experts working together, will greatly facilitate this approach. I feel strongly about bringing the same focus and effort to every surgical procedure, whether a simple biopsy, lumpectomy, mastectomy – including skin and nipple sparing procedures, or axillary lymph node surgery .A primary concern, both in clinical practice and research, is quality of life issues as they relate to the treatment of breast cancer.
With the realization that side effects of general anesthesia can be more debilitating than surgery itself, I developed a regional anesthetic technique called paravertebral block as an alternative anesthetic for women undergoing breast surgery. This work has been funded by federal research grants and this technique is now being practiced world-wide. I have also worked with Mount Sinai’s team of biobehavioral researchers to develop hypnosis and other interventions which markedly improve post-operative well-being.
I am also interested in psychological and emotional aspects of breast cancer, and am now researching why some individuals delay in presenting for diagnosis and treatment for this disease.The most important and rewarding aspect of my breast surgery practice is being available for the individual patient not only medically, but also in a human way.
Being diagnosed with breast cancer is extremely stressful and dismaying, but I have always felt, and always will, that there is no problem that cannot be solved and that the patient and physician are very much in this together. I feel that this philosophy is in accord with the goals of the Dubin Center, and I look forward to being part of a team that will deliver the very best breast cancer care.