Surgeons Eager to Learn Advanced Procedures for Breast Cancer Treatment

In In The News by Barbara Jacoby

New course emphasizes techniques to improve outcomes, and increase availability of breast conserving surgery 

Surgeons specializing in breast cancer can now receive training in advanced oncoplastic procedures from the School of Oncoplastic Surgery (SOS). The school is one of the nation’s top continuing medical education programs. It is the first and only one in the United States to offer educational certification in oncoplastic surgery, the most advanced form of breast cancer surgery available.
Surgeons from across the nation will gather for a sold-out course in Newport Beach, Sept. 14-16, 2018, to continue their training in oncoplastic surgery. The course will primarily focus on advanced oncoplastic techniques to improve outcomes with breast conserving surgery.
Since 2007, the school has brought together experts from around the world to train course attendees on the various aspects of oncoplastic surgery. The two-and-a-half-day course – which provides more than 20 hours of certified medical education (CME) credits – instructs surgeons on how to optimize cosmetic results without compromising cancer control.
“After more than a decade of teaching the course, there are now enough surgeons with a strong foundation in basic oncoplastic principles who want to further their skills and learn more advanced procedures,” said Gail Lebovic, M.D., the school’s founder and course director. “As the leader in oncoplastic surgery education, SOS is proud to offer this opportunity for surgeons to build on what they’ve already learned and go deeper on several important topics.”
“The main focus of the new course is on breast conservation and how we can make breast conserving surgery available to more women,” Dr. Lebovic added.
The keynote address at the Sept. school will be delivered by world-renowned surgeon Melvin Silverstein, M.D., the pioneer of oncoplastic breast-conserving surgery in the United States. Dr. Silverstein is the Medical Director of the Hoag Breast Center and holds the Gross Family Foundation Endowed Chair in Oncoplastic Breast Surgery in Newport Beach.
Other notable speakers include well-known radiation oncologist Robert Kuske, M.D., who will discuss the growing trend toward partial breast radiation protocols, including updated radiation therapy guidelines from the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO). As part of the radiation therapy portion, attendees will learn techniques for implanting the BioZorb® 3D bioabsorbable marker. BioZorb is an implantable device that can be used with oncoplastic cavity closure for partial breast reconstruction. By providing permanent 3D visualization of the tumor site, the device can also make it possible to utilize more targeted radiation techniques.
The course will, for the first time, also include demonstrations by a nipple tattoo artist in the breast reconstruction lab. According to Dr. Lebovic, nipple tattooing on the reconstructed breast is a simple procedure that surgeons can add to their practice to benefit patients who have their nipple-areolar complexes removed.
“It’s a very straightforward procedure once you’ve been trained, and it makes a huge difference for women in terms of their body image and appearance,” said Dr. Lebovic.
The School of Oncoplastic Surgery offers a core curriculum of essential topics and rotates in well-known and new faculty members for each training.
“After 37 years of doing breast surgery, I initially attended the course because I wanted to provide my breast cancer patients with better cosmetic results,” said Jack Traylor, M.D., a surgeon in Huntington, W.V. who attended two courses in the past year. “The skills I’ve gained through these courses have enabled me to do more breast conserving surgery – with excellent cosmetic outcomes – for cases that would have previously required mastectomy. I went back to learn more advanced techniques and will continue to attend courses in the future to keep myself current on the latest advances in oncoplastic surgery.”
Oncoplastic surgery combines breast cancer surgery with plastic and reconstructive techniques to achieve the best possible cosmetic results. OPS can help surgeons increase the number of women who are eligible for breast-conserving surgery (lumpectomy). In this way, the cancer removal can be performed in conjunction with a breast reduction, augmentation, lift, mastectomy or reconstruction, taking into account patient preference and clinical circumstances.
Gail Lebovic, M.D. founded the School of Oncoplastic Surgery in 2007 with a grant from the Mary Kay Ash Foundation. SOS focuses on a multidisciplinary and practical “hands-on” approach to training surgeons in oncoplastic breast surgery techniques. It was the first and is the only oncoplastic surgery educational program in the US that incorporates a full-day anatomy lab as well as a full day of didactic lectures led by world-renowned pioneers in oncoplastic surgery.
As the first female oncoplastic surgeon in the US, Dr. Lebovic is an internationally known authority in using reconstructive and plastic surgery approaches in the surgical treatment of breast cancer. A past president of the American Society of Breast Disease, she has received several distinguished awards and is also the inventor of multiple successful medical technologies in women’s healthcare.