Cutting edge breast surgery in Toledo - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Cutting edge breast surgery in Toledo

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A doctor at the University of Toledo Medical Center is getting ready to perform cutting edge breast surgery here in Toledo. It's a relatively new procedure called a nipple sparing mastectomy.

Dr. Helen Mabry did hundreds of these surgeries in California and now she's offering the option to patients here in her hometown. She moved back several months ago after spending 18 years away. She practiced in California at the John Wayne Cancer Institute and at a private practice, but in the midst of that very successful career in California, Dr. Mabry started exploring the possibility of coming home.

In addition to her family one of the biggest draws was her experience as a student at Maumee Valley Country Day School, "I thought about the friendships I had that started in kindergarten and continued all the way through high school and many of those people are still my best friends to this day. I wanted my daughter to have those same experiences."

So after years of studying and practicing away from home Dr. Mabry came back this Summer, "I think of it as a rust belt return! I went away to find something and I have come back and hopefully what I found will help benefit women here in Toledo."

Dr. Mabry performs a breast conservation surgery, it's an alternative to a traditional mastectomy. She's done about 200 of the surgeries since being part of the first trials in California back in 2005, "I leave the shell of the breast, the skin, the nipple in tact. I make an incision and take out the whole gland of the breast."

While the procedure is life changing for many patients, there are limitations," It is not for everyone. Good candidates cannot have cancer too close to the skin or too close to the nipple, but for those who can have the surgery, it reduces the suffering associated with breast cancer surgery."

Dr. Mabry expects to begin doing the surgery here in Toledo in the coming weeks. She will be one of the doctors working in the new Dana Cancer Center which opens in February at UTMC,"The reason I went into breast cancer surgery is that it can happen to anyone, even me. I want to make it as easy as possible to get through, what is often a very difficult treatment."

One of the benefits of the procedure is that it can cut down on the number of surgeries a patient has to go through. Dr. Mabry says it also helps patients feel less altered by the process. She also says the surgery allows doctors to easily spot cancer if it returns to the same area.

 

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