Breast Surgery

Derek K. Paul, MD, FACS -  - General Surgeon

Derek K. Paul, MD, FACS

General Surgeon & Laparoscopic Surgeon & Oncological Surgeon located in Vero Beach, FL

After learning you have breast cancer, you need a highly skilled yet compassionate surgeon who listens, explains all your options, and provides the personal attention that helps allay your anxiety about breast surgery. That’s the type of care you receive from Derek K. Paul MD, FACS, in Vero Beach, Florida. Dr. Paul has extensive experience in helping women overcome breast cancer. In addition to his caring manner during and after surgery, he’s an exceptional surgeon who offers the most advanced options. To schedule an appointment, call the office or connect online today.

Breast Surgery Q & A

Do I need breast surgery for benign breast tumors?

Benign breast disease refers to a group of health conditions that cause noncancerous lumps in your breast. Common examples include cysts, enlarged or thickened glands, and fibrous tissue.

Most benign tumors don’t require surgery unless they become large and painful. However, Dr. Paul may recommend breast surgery to remove benign breast tumors that significantly increase your risk for breast cancer, such as:

  • Fibroadenomas
  • Intraductal papillomas
  • Lobular carcinoma in situ

Atypical hyperplasia is an overgrowth of breast tissue that doesn’t typically cause a lump, but Dr. Paul may need to remove it because it also raises your risk for breast cancer.

What types of malignant tumors does breast surgery treat?

Breast cancer begins with abnormal cell growth that gradually enlarges and forms a malignant mass. Once you have a cancerous tumor, it may invade throughout the breast or spread to other parts of your body.

The two most common types of breast cancer are:

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)

DCIS, the most common type of breast cancer, starts in the ducts that transport milk from the glands to your nipples.

Invasive lobular carcinoma

This condition starts as a benign tumor in the milk-producing glands. The early tumor is called lobular carcinoma in situ even though it’s not yet cancerous. Over time, the benign mass can turn into a type of cancer called invasive lobular carcinoma.

What happens during breast cancer surgery?

After discovering a lump, you have diagnostic imaging. If the imaging suggests breast cancer, you undergo a breast biopsy such as fine needle aspiration, core needle biopsy, or surgical biopsy.

If your biopsy is positive for cancer, Dr. Paul performs one of the following types of breast cancer surgery:

Lumpectomy or breast-conserving surgery

Dr. Paul removes the tumor, a small amount of tissue around the tumor, and some lymph nodes.


A mastectomy is a surgery to remove the entire breast. However, Dr. Paul performs several types:

  • Radical mastectomy
  • Modified radical mastectomy
  • Nipple-sparing or skin-sparing mastectomy
  • Oncoplastic breast surgery

Dr. Paul performs a radical mastectomy when your breast cancer has spread, and he needs to remove the chest muscles. Your chest muscles remain intact during a modified radical mastectomy.

Whenever possible, Dr. Paul spares the nipple or skin, which are then used to restore your breast. If you’re a good candidate for oncoplastic breast surgery, you undergo reconstructive surgery right after Dr. Paul removes the tumor.

Compassionate care and exceptional breast cancer surgery are available from Derek K. Paul MD, FACS. To learn about your surgery options, call the office, or book an appointment online.