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Breast Surgery

Our dedicated breast cancer surgeons work closely with patients to determine the best surgical approaches for individualized cancer risk. All fellowship-trained in breast oncologic surgery, our specialists strive to cure cancer while optimizing cosmetic outcomes and recovery.

At the NorthShore Kellogg Cancer Center, our breast cancer surgeons regularly collaborate with fellowship-trained plastic surgery experts who specialize in breast reconstruction. NorthShore also features a dedicated Oncoplastics Program—one of the first and only in the country—focused on improving cosmetic outcomes after breast cancer surgery. Our High Risk Breast Program specializes in risk-reducing surgery as a preventive measure in high risk patients.

Surgical Expertise

NorthShore’s leadership in breast cancer surgery ensures our patients have access to the latest surgical techniques performed by top experts in the field. Katherine Kopkash, MD, heads our innovative Oncoplastics Program focused on removing cancer while preserving a natural breast shape and appearance. Under the leadership of Akhil Seth, MD,  NorthShore’s plastic surgery team recently pioneered a lymphatic surgery known as the LYMPHA procedure to prevent lymphedema in patients undergoing axillary lymph node dissections. Catherine Pesce, MD, led our early adoption of radioactive seed localization of non-palpable breast tumors—ones that can’t be felt. Now the standard of care at NorthShore, this “wireless” localization technique allows our surgeons to more accurately pinpoint tumors for removal. We perform more seed-directed surgeries than any other hospital system in the Chicagoland area.

Optimizing recovery is a key component of breast surgery. We developed an Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) protocol for all patients undergoing breast reconstruction surgeries. Studies have proven that these multidisciplinary post-operative ERAS approaches improve patient outcomes, decrease the need for pain medications and reduce time spent in the hospital.

Research and Clinical Trials

Faculty members at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, our surgeons work to pioneer new techniques to enhance breast cancer surgery and outcomes through innovative research. Dr. Katherine Kopkash is the principal investigator for a multisite clinical trial—the first in the United States—using the robotic approach for nipple-sparing mastectomies. NorthShore is one of only five sites across the country to participate in this landmark trial.

Fellowship Training

NorthShore recently joined more than 40 educational programs nationwide to train the next generation of breast oncologic surgeons—a testament to the strength and prominence of our Center for Breast Health. In 2020, the Society of Surgical Oncology approved our new breast surgical oncologic fellowship. As fellowship director, Dr. Catherine Pesce leads this educational effort with other NorthShore breast surgeons.

For More Information

For more information about breast health and surgery, please call 847.570.1700.