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Hiding the scars of breast surgery

Crystal Pauley (L) and Angie Barker (R) talk with Dr. Mary Leganza (Middle). Dr. Leganza performed hidden scar breast surgery on Crystal and Angie. (WCHS/WVAH)

Surgeries and some other medical procedures often leave scars. For most women those surgical scars can be troubling, but a new technique is concealing those scars for women.

"I've already been told once I had cancer. I don't want to be told again," said Crystal Pauley. She's a kidney cancer survivor, but she also has a gene that increases her chance of getting breast cancer. To decrease those odds she had a double masectomy, but you'd never know it because the procedure was hidden scar breast surgery. "I wanted to feel like a woman. I still wanted to look like a woman. with this surgery I was able to keep my nipples. You cannot see any scaring. Everything is hidden," said Crystal.

"I decided to nip it in the bud before it was a problem," said Angie Barker who also has a gene that made her susceptible to breast cancer, so she also had the surgery. "For me mine are under the mammary flap and so they are hidden under there and so me looking in the mirror I cannot see them so I am not reminded every day," said Angie.

"It takes the risk of breast cancer from 80% down to less than 5%," said Dr. Mary Leganza of the Edwards Comprehensive Cancer Center, the only certified hidden scar breast surgeon in the region. "We know we can hide the incision under the breast, under the arm and what we call parareola, make an incision around the areola it fades away and you don't even see it," said Dr. Leganza.

With summer around the corner, Crystal and Angie can go to the beach and look like ordinary women who have had breast surgery, knowing that breast cancer is probably not in their future.

"I don't have to worry anymore," said Angie. "Before it was always in the back of my mind," said Crystal.

The hidden scar breast surgery will keeps their womanhood in tact. "They look great. They do. I love 'em," said Angie.

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