WHEN SHOULD I SEE A BREAST CARE SPECIALIST?
There’s no wrong place to start, as long as you schedule an appointment as soon as you discover something unusual in your breasts. Early detection is the key to favorable outcomes for benign (non-cancerous) and malignant (cancerous) breast issues.
WHO DO YOU CALL?
Internal/Family Medicine Doctor
If an internal medicine doctor discovers a lump or gets abnormal results back on a mammogram, he or she will refer the patient to a breast care specialist.
If a routine mammogram shows something abnormal, the gynecologist will notify the patient and then refer her to a breast care specialist.
Breast Care Specialist
A breast care specialist will typically perform an ultrasound and, if warranted, an ultrasound guided biopsy to diagnose the abnormality. Patients may also choose to undergo genetic testing to learn about their predisposition for cancer.
If the specialist determines that removing breast tissue is warranted, he or she will then perform breast surgery. If the tissue is cancerous, the breast specialist will make a determination about whether a referral to a medical oncologist and/or a radiation oncologist would be beneficial to the patient.
WHY CHOOSE A FELLOWSHIP-TRAINED BREAST SURGEON?
Dr. Thomas Williams is certified in hidden scar surgery, which is an additional certification that is rare among breast surgeons. Her hidden scar training has made her an expert in determining the ideal location to put an incision to remove cancerous tissue and also have a cosmetically pleasing outcome. The certification has helped Dr. Thomas Williams achieve surgical outcomes that are medically thorough while also maintaining patient’s self-worth as they heal.
Because she is committed to excellent patient outcomes, Dr. Thomas Williams also utilizes ultrasound guided biopsy for in-office diagnoses. In her experience, she can diagnose nine out of ten breast issues without operating on a patient. Instead of undergoing anesthesia, surgery, and recovery to discover that a breast lump is benign, Dr. Thomas Williams will perform a brief biopsy in-office.
Using local anesthesia, Dr. Thomas Williams uses an ultrasound to locate the abnormal area for a targeted biopsy. In most cases, the incision is so small that it doesn’t even require a stitch. There is no downtime after the biopsy, patients can shower after 24-hours, and they heal without a scar.
How a surgeon diagnoses a breast issue is a personal preference. However, Dr. Thomas Williams had undergone extensive training specific to breasts, which aids in her minimally invasive diagnoses. Only when she feels that it’s absolutely necessary does she recommend breast surgery.
FROM GENERAL SURGEON TO BREAST SPECIALIST: DR. THOMAS WILLIAMS’ PATH
At an appointment with her great-grandmother’s cardiologist, Dr. Thomas Williams expressed interest in pursuing medicine. The surgeon, who is still her mentor today, invited her to join him in the operating room to watch one of his procedures. From that point on, she was sold!
Initially, she intended to pursue cardiovascular surgery. However, her path took a different turn during the third year of her surgical Residency. She met a young woman who had recently had a baby and had been diagnosed with breast cancer. It floored her that someone so young could have breast cancer.
She followed that patient through her entire course of treatment, and the experience transformed Dr. Thomas Williams’ vision for her future. After completing her surgical Residency, she pursued her Breast Fellowship at Yale and then went into private practice.
DO YOU HAVE BREAST HEALTH CONCERNS?
Phone: 704-769-3800 | Fax: 949.404.8311