DALLAS - One of the nation's top programs in continuing medical education has opened registration for its next training. The School of Oncoplastic Surgery (SOS), which zeroes in on the growing trend toward oncoplastic breast-conserving surgery, will hold its next training program Jan. 27-29, 2017.
Surgeons from across the nation will gather in Dallas to learn oncoplastic surgery (OPS), which is the most advanced form of breast-conserving surgery available. The two-and-a-half-day course teaches surgeons how to optimize cosmetic results without compromising cancer control.
"With most women living long and healthy lives after being treated for breast cancer, oncoplastic skills are in demand," said Gail Lebovic, M.D., the school's founder and course director. "This increasingly popular breast cancer surgery responds to women's concernsabout their appearance after surgery and their interest in keeping control of their body image and femininity."
Dr. Lebovic founded the School of Oncoplastic Surgery in 2007 with a grant from the Mary Kay Ash Foundation. Dr. Lebovic is well known as one of the first oncoplastic surgeons in the US and is 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.
The January SOS session kicks off a year of expansion for the School of Oncoplastic Surgery, to include the launch of a certification program and an increasing focus on breast reconstruction, a procedure that Lebovic notes has unfortunately declined over the past several years due to a number of factors. The upcoming SOS courses will teach breast surgeons advanced techniques needed to preserve the breast whenever possible and to achieve better outcomes.
"As breast surgeons, it's crucial that we take an unfortunate negative situation for women and try as best we can to make it a positive experience," Dr. Lebovic said. "A woman shouldn't have to worry about being disfigured from surgery in order to cure her cancer."
New at the upcoming January session of SOS is a lecture honoring the memory and work of Professor Umberto Veronesi, M.D., the famous Italian breast surgeon whose pioneering research revolutionized the treatment of breast cancer and paved the way for the acceptance of breast-conserving surgery versus mastectomy.
The Veronesi Lecture will be delivered by Cicero Urban, M.D, who studied under Dr. Veronesi and is author of the seminal book, Oncoplastic and Reconstructive Breast Surgery. The lecture is being sponsored by Focal Therapeutics, Inc. manufacturer of the BioZorb implant, a device that facilitates the use of oncoplastic techniques in breast conserving surgery and partial breast reconstruction.
"Oncoplastic surgery is changing how we approach the treatment of breast cancer," said Anne Kieryn, M.D., a surgeon in West Jordan, Utah, who is affiliated with Jordan Valley Medical Center and who participated in a recent SOS course. "I've concluded that any surgeon who is not up to speed on oncoplastic surgery is not doing breast surgery correctly."
The SOS trains surgeons to save as much of the natural tissue as possible without compromising removal of the cancer. Reconstructive techniques are also addressed during the course, so that surgeons can offer their patients an opportunity to maintain or even enhance their appearance without compromising their health or survival after being treated for cancer.
"Course attendees can reassure their patients that there doesn't have to be a disconnect with how you look and how well you do from your cancer," said Lola Fayanju, MD, MA, MPHS, a surgical oncologist with Duke Cancer Institute. "You can have both a beautiful outcome and a healthy, safe operation."
Elements of the uniquely comprehensive SOS program include:
- Full-day anatomy lab. Attendees receive hands-on instruction and gain experience in multiple oncoplastic techniques.
- Didactic lectures by experts covering topics in breast surgery & cancer care.
- Live models for surgical marking. Attendees learn the skin markings crucial to perfecting the art of OPS.
- Networking opportunities with faculty and colleagues. Surgeons work side-by-side with the faculty and network/socialize with each other throughout the course.
- Panel discussions. Current controversial topics of significant importance to breast cancer surgeons are discussed in-depth with leaders in the field.
- One-to-one instruction from the course's expert faculty. Instructors include several world-renowned pioneers in OPS.
- Introduction to new technologies used in oncoplastic cases. Selected new tools are demonstrated and utilized in the lab.
The course will be held at the Omni Mandalay Las Colinas and the Texas Health Research & Education Institute (THRI), which is affiliated with Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas.