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Topic: How do I find a surgeon.

Forum: Surgery - Before, During, and After — Surgical options and helpful tips for recovery and side effects.

Posted on: May 31, 2020 03:56PM

lynbenson wrote:

We are in the Los Angeles area.My 93 year old mother was just diagnosed with breast cancer and she needs a lumpectomy. I'm nervous about choosing a doctor from online ratings because I don't know if the ratings are true. The Bedford Breast Center has great reviews but no one seems to know them. Everybody mentions Kristi Funk but is it that she did Angelina Jolie's surgery?.


We use UCLA for a number of specialties. I heard UCLA was good but not great ratings, especially regarding communication with the patient. Dennis Holmes and Helena Chang are supposed to be good, though. Maggie Lee Dinome's name came up as a top surgeon but one person complained that it took a long time to get in.

Do you go to an oncologist or surgeon first? Some doctors appear to be both


I want to get started on this fast. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you so much.

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May 31, 2020 04:45PM moth wrote:

I went to the surgeon first; they laid out my options regarding what type of surgery was appropriate for my case.

My surgeon completed a fellowship in surgical oncology so it is someone with additional training in tumour resection.

Then after surgery I saw the medical oncologist who reviewed the final pathology report (which might be different than what the biopsy showed) and made recommendations regarding chemo and also discussed whether I'd need referral to the radiation oncologist. At your mom's age, I honestly doubt they would recommend these treatments.

If it's a small tumor and not super close to the chest wall, it's an easy procedure. It's day surgery here - I was in hospital about 8 hours. Your mom's age might make it more complicated so she might require a longer hospital stay.

I'd pick a surgical oncologist who has openings soon. If it's not a large tumor, no mastectomy, no reconstruction, just go with someone at a large center who has openings. Lumpectomies are, generally speaking, simple surgeries.

Seriously???? “Sometimes the future changes quickly and completely and we’re left with only the choice of what to do next." nevertellmetheodds2017.tumblr.... Dx 12/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 12/12/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 2/14/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/13/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Dx 2/2020, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to liver/lungs, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/18/2020 Taxol (paclitaxel) Immunotherapy 3/19/2020 Tecentriq (atezolizumab)
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May 31, 2020 07:05PM JosieO wrote:

I am not in your geography, but I would suggest taking the following steps:

- Utilize your network of existing doctors (the doctors you see at UCLA) and ask them for suggestions and referrals. Other doctors generally know who the better breast surgeons are, so ask for names, ask for comments on the names you find by reading reviews, and build your list. Note those doctors who get positive comments, and especially those whose names are mentioned multiple times.

- once you have a working list, call to make appointments for a consultation. Do go with your mother so you can be that second set of eyes and ears. Build a list of questions in advance, ask your questions, and get a sense of the surgeon’s skill as well as personality. You want someone who you have a good feeling about

- meet with more than one, so you have a point of comparison.

- talk it all over with your mother, understand her feelings, make sure she knows that she has your support.

Fortunately you have the time to make the best selection.

Personally, I found reviews that I read were representative of the surgeon that I met. Afterward, I made sure to write reviews for my cancer team to help others trying to make a selection.

Best wishes to you and your mother. It will be ok.

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May 31, 2020 07:21PM ShetlandPony wrote:

In the Los Angeles area, the two NCCN centers are UCLA and City of Hope. You might want to ask if any of their breast cancer oncologists and surgeons have a particular interest in geriatric oncology, and make an appointment with that doctor. Ideally your mom’s case would go to tumor board where the whole team can agree on the plan, before anything is done. It is fine to begin with visiting the surgeon.

2011 Stage I ILC 1.5cm grade1 ITCs sn Lumpectomy,radiation,tamoxifen. 2014 Stage IV ILC mets breast,liver. TaxolNEAD. Ibrance+letrozole 2yrs. Fas+afinitor nope. XelodaNEAD 2yrs. Eribulin,Doxil nope. SUMMIT FaslodexHerceptinNeratinib for Her2mut NEAD

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