Since Tatiana Kovtoun, M.D. and general surgeon, cares for and treats many women who are facing concerns with breast health, she wants to keep as up-to-date as possible. Her most recent education came at The American Society of Breast Surgeons annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Kovtoun is one of two surgeons at Central Kansas Surgical Care, which is owned and operated by St. Rose Ambulatory & Surgery Center. She and Thomas Wilder, M.D., FACS, have moved their offices to the Medical Office Building, which is on the west end of St. Rose.
"For the benefit of my patients, I want to stay as current as possible with the various treatment options, especially in breast care, " Dr. Kovtoun said. "It is always enlightening to hear about other surgeons’ experiences and to reinforce the fact that we are keeping up with medical advances."
Up to about 40 percent of Dr. Kovtoun’s practice involves breast care; she performs an average of 10 to 15 breast procedures per month.
"I do quite a few breast-cancer-related procedures, including lumpectomies and mastectomies, but not cosmetic surgeries - at least not yet," she noted. "We work closely with oncologists at the Heartland Cancer Center, the St. Rose lab and radiologists. Breast cancer is a multi-specialty disease.
"Certainly not all conditions involve surgery, however," Dr. Kovtoun added. "We are here for consultations with patients about a variety of concerns, along with offering treatment, observation and reassurance about benign breast conditions."
The surgeon-conference speakers shared updated information about many procedures, including breast screenings. Dr. Kovtoun recommends annual digital mammograms for women beginning at age 40 because "even though mammography isn’t a perfect tool, annual screenings can provide invaluable information."
That being said, she added, there are no strict rules that everyone has to follow.
"For example, we are going to more individualized care for each patient to find the best way to screen," Dr. Kovtoun said. "After considering the patient’s personal history and her family’s history, we may determine more screening is in order. Sometimes an MRI is appropriate for those at high risk, and we offer genetic screening to determine if a woman carries certain breast cancer genes."
Dr. Kovtoun also noted that the speakers shared information about new surgery recommendations and research that is in the works.
"Surgeons are always looking for less invasive, less disfiguring options for breast surgery," she said. "Patients can be assured that continuing education is a priority at St. Rose."