Breast Surgery Specialist

Gynecologic Oncology Specialists

Anne O. Rodriguez, MD

Gynecologic Oncologist & Breast Surgeon located in Santa Barbara, Lompoc, & Ventura, CA

When you need breast surgery due to cancer, experienced breast surgeon and gynecological oncologist Anne O. Rodriguez, MD, can help. She offers options such as breast-conserving surgery and nipple-sparing mastectomy to women in Ventura, Lompoc, and Santa Barbara, California, at Gynecologic Oncology Specialists. If you need surgery for breast cancer, call or book a one-on-one consultation to learn your treatment options.

Breast Surgery Q & A

What is breast surgery?

Breast surgery may involve the removal of your breasts because of cancer or reconstructing your breasts after removal. At Gynecologic Oncology Specialists, Dr. Rodriguez offers many types of breast surgery to address breast cancer, depending on your specific needs, such as mastectomy, nipple-sparing mastectomy, and breast-conserving surgery.

What is a mastectomy?

A mastectomy is the removal of the whole breast. The type of mastectomy you undergo depends on your cancer’s size, location, and extent. Dr. Rodriguez performs five types of mastectomy:

  • Simple or total mastectomy - removal of the entire breast
  • Modified radical mastectomy - removes both breast tissue and lymph nodes
  • Radical mastectomy - removal of the entire breast, chest wall muscles under the breast, and underarm lymph nodes
  • Partial mastectomy or lumpectomy - removal of just the cancerous part of the breast tissue
  • Nipple-sparing mastectomy - removal of breast tissue with preservation of the nipple

You work together with Dr. Rodriguez and any other specialists to determine the surgical approach that’s right for you.

What is a nipple-sparing mastectomy?

In a traditional mastectomy, Dr. Rodriguez removes the entirety of the breast, including the nipple and surrounding skin.

A nipple-sparing mastectomy is a mastectomy in which the breast tissue is removed, but the skin, nipple, and areola are left intact.

The procedure is best for women with small tumors that aren’t aggressive or who have not gone through radiation surgery. If you have diabetes or are a smoker, you are not a good candidate.

Why should I consider a nipple-sparing mastectomy?

A nipple-sparing mastectomy preserves the aesthetic look of your breast. It leaves a small scar on the underside toward the arm; otherwise, it’s not obvious you’ve had surgery.

The preservation of your breast’s natural look helps improve your self-esteem and self-image following breast cancer treatment. You may lose some sensation in the nipple following the surgery, but still have 30-60% of your feeling intact. 

What is breast-conserving surgery?

If you have early-stage breast cancer, you may have options other than a full mastectomy. In some early stages or cases of a very small, localized lump, your treatment plan may involve a lumpectomy or partial mastectomy, which is also known as breast-conserving surgery.

During this procedure, Dr. Rodriguez only removes the area of the breast that has cancer. She extracts the lump and a small amount of surrounding breast tissue. The exact amount removed depends on the size of your lump and its location.

In addition to the lumpectomy, she may also remove some of the lymph nodes under your arm to determine if cancer has spread there. Radiation therapy is usually coupled with breast-conserving surgery to eradicate all signs of cancer.

If you’re ready to discuss breast surgery, call Gynecologic Oncology Specialists or book a consultation online.