Hidden Scar Surgery

Removing cancer is the first priority in any breast-cancer surgery. Of course. But what woman wants to leave the hospital looking any different than the day she arrived for treatment?

The Cancer Institute’s Hidden Scar surgeons are specially trained to remove breast cancer in either a lumpectomy or mastectomy procedure without visible signs of scarring.

"Women no longer have to look at their breast and see unsightly scars after having breast surgery” says Dr. Heather King, who with Dr. Camelia Lawrence and Dr. Lea Bassin, are fellowship-trained Cancer Institute surgeons with Hidden Scar Certification in minimally invasive techniques that promise both clinical and aesthetically-pleasing results.

A hidden-scar procedure does not reduce chances of eradicating cancer, not does it increase the risk of recurrence. Eligibility for the procedure depends on the size and location of the tumor combined with breast size and shape and whether the cancer has spread to other areas.

A nipple-sparing mastectomy is the only type of mastectomy eligible for a hidden-scar procedure. (Two other procedures, a total mastectomy and skin-sparing mastectomy, are not.) In the nipple-sparing mastectomy, a procedure that removes all breast tissue but retains the nipple, your doctor can make the scar less visible with an incision in the inframammary fold, the crease below the breast.

A lumpectomy patient can expect a cancerous tumor and part of the healthy tissue around it, sparing most of the breast and the nipple. In a conventional lumpectomy, your surgeon makes the incision over the tumor. In a hidden-scar procedure, the surgeon chooses from three incision locations.

“Women’s scars are now placed either around the nipple, under the breast in the inframammary fold or coming from the axilla (armpit),” says Dr. King.

In any of those locations, the procedure leaves little or no evidence of surgery.

“The cosmetic outcome is excellent,” Dr. King.


Meet our Hidden Scar Surgery Specialists:

Name Specialties Location
Bassin, Leah R., MD, FACS
860.246.2071
  • Breast Surgery
  • Farmington
  • Avon
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King, Heather Marie, MD, FACS
860.246.2071
  • Breast Surgery
  • Farmington
  • Glastonbury
  • Manchester
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Lawrence, Camelia, MD, FACS
860.224.5416
  • Breast Surgery
  • Plainville

Our Breast Program Locations

Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute