CMH offers highly specialized surgery

Tuesday, July 15, 2014



UPDATE (Aug. 19)

More exciting history was made in CMH's OR on Thursday, August 7.  For the first time ever at CMH, a patient had a mastectomy for cancer, followed immediately by microsurgical  free flap breast reconstruction. The case involved Drs. Kolyn, Chesney, Ma, and Avram (from McMaster University) along with Shenker. Dr. Ling provided outstanding anesthetic care throughout the whole day. This case marks the first time in our hospital's history that a breast cancer patient received the most state-of- the-art form of autologous  breast reconstruction at the same time as her mastectomy. She went to sleep with a breast, was treated for her cancer and woke up with ‎a new breast. It was a great team effort and everything went perfectly! The team will collaborate to make these cases smoother and faster, with a goal of bringing the best breast cancer care to women in the Waterloo region.      



For Immediate Release:
July 15, 2014

CMH offers highly specialized surgery closer to home

Cambridge, Ontario – Cambridge Memorial Hospital is proud to announce that on July 4, 2014, CMH plastic surgeons Dr. Amy Chesney and Dr. Robert Shenker successfully conducted the region’s first ever micro-surgical free flap breast reconstruction. The operation, which is offered to women who have had a mastectomy as treatment for their breast cancer, took about 6 hours to complete. “The patient’s own tissue from her tummy area is transplanted and used to create a new breast. We do this by using a highly specialized microscope to carefully separate the abdominal tissue from the abdomen, move the tissue to the mastectomy site, and re connect the tissue’s very tiny blood vessels to new blood vessels in the chest. The result is a very natural looking breast, without the possible complications of other surgeries,” says CMH Chief of Surgery & VP Medical Affairs, Dr. Rob Shenker, who assisted Chesney on the surgery.

Only approximately 15% of eligible women undergo breast reconstruction surgery after having a mastectomy. Once the domain of a few academic health centres in large cities like Toronto, the burden of travel and the lack of information is usually enough to stop some women from seeking this OHIP covered surgery. “We also recognize that every woman is unique and may not want the surgery as part of her cancer journey. For those who do, we are pleased to be able to offer them this high quality service closer to their home,” adds Shenker.

After recently investing in specialized equipment and adding two new highly skilled plastic surgeons to the Cambridge Memorial Hospital surgical staff, Cambridge Memorial Hospital is proud to offer this new gold standard in breast reconstruction for patients in the Waterloo Wellington region.

About Cambridge Memorial Hospital

Cambridge Memorial Hospital traces its roots to1888, which at the time was the region’s first community hospital/ Then known as Galt Hospital it opened its doors to treat patients in a localized health care setting. Today, Cambridge Memorial Hospital is an acute care hospital offering a full complement of services including surgery, laboratory, diagnostics and an Emergency. It employs over 1,100 dedicated and skilled health care professionals, technicians and staff, 280 physicians and 400 volunteers providing exceptional care to the residents of Cambridge, the township of North Dumfries and the Region of Waterloo. 

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For media inquiries contact:                                                                                  

Stephan Beckhoff
Public Affairs & Communications
Cambridge Memorial Hospital
519-621-2333, ext. 2427