Dr. Nancy Van Laeken Bio
Dr. Nancy Van Laeken obtained her MD from the University of Ottawa over 28 years ago, and completed her Plastic Surgery training at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. She has also completed advanced training in Reconstructive Microsurgery at the University of Toronto.
Dr. Van Laeken is a certified plastic surgeon by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Her professional affiliations include The Canadian Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, The Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons, and the Pacific and American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Dr. Van Laeken performs private cosmetic procedures at a number of facilities in Vancouver, including the False Creek Surgical Centre and Cambie Surgery Centre, and is an active member at many Lower Mainland hospitals. She is the Chair of the Department of Surgery for Providence Health Care in Vancouver, the Physician Program Director for Providence Health Care, an Associate Head for the Department of Surgery at UBC and a Clinical Associate Professor for the Division of Plastic Surgery.
Dr. Van Laeken was awarded one of Canada's top ten doctors in Hospital News January 2000, ranked as one of Canada's Top 10 consumers of breast implants by Allergan, was nominated two years in a row as one of YWCA's Women of Distinction, and has received a number of other awards and accolades over the years.
( Dr. Nancy Van Laeken, Plastic Surgeon, Vancouver, BC) is in good standing with the College of Physicians and Surgeons.
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Susan, a 45-year-old mother of two children, presents to the office with a recent diagnosis of breast cancer. A mammographic abnormality was picked up on a screening mammogram and the patient underwent a core biopsy. She has been advised that she has multifocal disease involving the left breast and a mastectomy has been recommended.
Susan visits a plastic surgeon for discussion on breast reconstruction. She does not smoke or drink excessively and is not overweight. She has a strong family history for breast cancer in her mother, her mother’s sister, and her grandmother, all of whom succumbed to the disease.
This patient is an excellent candidate for consideration of breast reconstructive surgery. Because of her strongly positive family history, it will likely be recommended that she undergo a mastectomy on the cancer side for treatment purposes and undergo a prophylactic mastectomy on the non-cancer side, because of her high risk of breast disease developing on that side secondary to her family history.
Before a decision is made regarding the prophylactic mastectomy, there will be some discussion and consideration of genetic testing for the presence of the disease. If in fact Susan is deemed to be gene positive for breast cancer, then she will also require a gynecological workup for assessment of the need for oophorectomy, because of the increased risk of ovarian cancer in patients with the BRCA1 gene.
Susan was made aware of the types of breast reconstruction, which are broken up into autologous techniques. These techniques involve using the patient's own tissue, such as the latissimus dorsi muscle from the back or the tram flap from the abdomen, or the newer possibility of a microvascular free tissue transfer called a DIEP flap from the abdomen as well.
The implant-based reconstructions would include the use of a dermal matrix so that the breast mound could be fully reconstructed the day of the mastectomy, or a two-stage reconstruction with a tissue expander, depending on the location of previous scars, the size of the breast to be reconstructed, and the history of radiation. Susan will require a multidisciplinary team approach to include plastic surgery, oncology, general surgery, possibly gynecology, and radiation therapy.