BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - One year ago, Courtney Garon made a discovery that changed her life. She found a lump in her breast during a self-examination.
"It was very shocking," said Garon. At 38, she was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer despite having no family history of the disease. Doctors quickly arranged for treatment, which included six months of chemo and a mastectomy. Like many women, Garon says the idea of a mastectomy scared her.
"When you think of a mastectomy, you think about something horrible to look at, a constant reminder of you know, the experience you went through," said Garon. "I was pleasantly surprised that was not the case at all."
Surgeons at Woman's Hospital now offer Hidden Scar Surgery for breast cancer patients. With this technique, surgeons go in through an incision under the breast, around the nipple, or near the armpit, depending on each individual procedure or case. The result is a scar that's essentially hidden. Surgical oncologist, Dr. Mindy Williams Bowie, says she uses the Hidden Scar technique on most of her breast cancer patients. She believes the technique helps women heal both physically and emotionally.
Woman's Hospital reports they preformed nearly 44,000 breast procedures in 2016.
"Now to be able to treat the breast cancer and them to return to clinic afterwards and tell me they cannot even see their scars is so empowering for a woman," said Bowie.
Garon's reconstruction surgery was done in March. She says now she looks in the mirror and sees only herself, not the cancer that attacked her body.
"I feel just as good as I did before. That says a lot," said Garon.
More information on the procedure can be found here.