- Question from Raven: My surgeon removed the fascia. What does this mean?
Beth Baughman DuPree, M.D., F.A.C.S.
The fascia is the connective tissue of the body, and it lies between the skin and the muscle underneath it. There is fascia on top of the muscle right behind the breast. This layer is often removed during a mastectomy and occasionally during a lumpectomy if the tumor is near the chest wall.
You may want to ask your doctor if the tumor was lying near the chest wall and that's why your fascia was removed. The chest wall is made up of your rib cage along with muscles that lie directly in front, just behind the breasts. Working from the front to the back of your chest, the layers of the chest wall are the skin, the breasts, the fascia, the pectoral muscles, and finally, the rib cage.
- Marisa Weiss, M.D. As a radiation oncologist, I read the operative notes to learn what the surgeon did during surgery and what she was thinking, because it can reveal important information to help me figure out the area where the cancer was. That's where I'm going to focus my treatment. Again, teamwork is essential in order to get the best care possible. The reports that your doctor generates, such as the operative report and the pathology report, are critical to keeping everyone on the same page and facilitating continuity of care.
The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Your Operative and Pathology Reports featured Beth Baughman Dupree, M.D., F.A.C.S. and Ann Ainsworth, M.D. answering your questions about details of pathology and operative reports and the importance of discussing them with your doctors.
Editor's Note: This conference took place in November 2004.
The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.
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