I am an associate professor of surgery and I’m the chief of the breast service at Yale in New Haven.
So I came to work and study at the Paris Breast Center and clinic Bizet for a period of three months. And the reason I wanted to come was to learn more about oncoplastic surgery.
In the United States, our training is a little bit different and we don’t have as much training in plastic surgery as many of our European colleagues. So I wanted to come and work with Krishna Clough because he’s one of the pioneers of oncoplastic surgery.
And I wanted to spend some time in Paris getting to know him and working with him and getting some firsthand experience in oncoplastics. Ideally, the reason I wanted to come is to benefit my patients to give them better cosmetic outcomes after their lumpectomies and to be able to do more breast conserving surgery.
I think the two most useful techniques that I learned here was something called an advancement flap, where I learned how to undermine the skin and free the breast gland from the muscle to fill in a lumpectomy defect and really reshape the breast after lumpectomy. So there’s no deformity.
And the other technique that I learned about was something called a rotational glandular flap, where we recruit a little bit of breast tissue from a different place after a lumpectomy and use that to fill in a cavity or a hole to get the best cosmetic outcome.
There is interest in learning these techniques in the United States, and there certainly are breast surgeons that are doing them and teaching them. But I really wanted to learn from one of the pioneers or one of the founders of these techniques to get a slightly different perspective.
I think for all of us, it’s difficult to take time off from work when you’re a busy clinical surgeon.
But for me, three months was really a good amount of time. I think if I had stayed only for a couple of weeks, I would have seen each procedure once or maybe twice.
And for me, seeing them over and over a couple of times really helped solidify the concepts in my mind and give me enough confidence that I think I can take these ideas and these concepts home with me and really feel good about using them on my own patients.