The new Director of Breast Surgery and Women’s Health for the breast surgery center at the Albert Einstein Healthcare Network has a very simple reason for dedicating his life to his profession. “I became a surgeon because when I see a problem, I want to fix it, and with surgery we’re often the last line of defense when dealing with breast cancer,” Dr. Archit Naik admitted. “But it’s also personal for me. I went through breast cancer with a family member, including chemotherapy, the return of the disease and how it impacted the lives of everyone around it. Treating this disease is something I’m very passionate about. I enjoy waking up every day and treating patients because I’ve been there and now I know that it can be cured and it’s great to be able to do that.”
Motivated by his personal encounter with breast cancer, Dr. Naik has embraced innovative techniques and technologies which improve his patients’ experience and care. For example, transitioning to a wireless tumor localization approach improves the comfort of his patients by avoiding the painful and cumbersome wire. Further, using state of the art magnetic tracers which are administered days before the actual surgery eliminates early morning arrival and lengthy, anxiety-producing waits on surgery day. Beyond technology, Dr. Naik has incorporated oncoplastic techniques into his lumpectomy surgery, focused exclusively on maintaining and improving cosmetic appearance of the patients breast post-surgery.
Dr. Naik has also added a genetics counselor to his team, enabling a more tailored treatment approach for patients. In the past month alone, the surgical plans for two patients evolved due to 30 percent higher risk of cancer identified through genetic testing. “This is breast cancer that we would have never found on our own,” the surgeon explained. “And just knowing that, it’s pretty amazing and I think it’s the new frontier in high-risk surveillance that can really help us to save lives.”
The importance of reducing repeat surgeries
“Everyone needs to understand the impact of not only the first surgery, but if any cancer is missed, the toll it will take on the patient to undergo a second surgical procedure,” he stated. “You have a patient who is very nervous, she has cancer, she is going into surgery, and then she comes back and you tell her, ‘Well, we have to go back and repeat it.’ That’s pretty devastating, so anything that could prevent that anxiety from happening all over again is something we’re going to take a close look at.”
Prompted by Dr. Naik’s commitment to the physical, emotional and psychosocial well being of his patients he added the MarginProbe device to his Standard of Care during lumpectomy surgery. This device identifies safe margins around a cancerous tumor to guide the surgeon in removing all diseased tissue. The result is that additional surgeries, known as re-excisions, ensures that the patient moves through surgical phase of treatment in an efficient and productive manner.
“I’ve only been utilizing MarginProbe for a few weeks, and it identified a positive margin that would have been missed, in my first surgery,” stated Dr. Naik. “This enabled me to shave some additional tissue right in the OR, preventing this patient from a second surgery and the anxiety that goes along with that. “It was an awesome feeling. You really cannot ask for more from the very first case.”
“Now that I’m using MarginProbe, I tell my patients that while there are no guarantees, this tool can reduce the possibility of going back for an additional surgery from 20 percent to around 5 percent. And when there is not a second surgery, she is getting to her chemo or radiation therapy that much faster. Less surgery means she can hopefully get on with her life that much sooner. And that’s something you just can’t put a value on.”
Dr. Archit Naik
Breast Surgeon with Einstein Breast Associates-Montgomery, Pennsylvania
- American Board of Surgery
- Advanced Cardiac Life Support
Education and training:
- Medical School – Drexel University, Doctor of Medicine
- Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, Fellowship in Breast Surgical Oncology
- Drexel University, Residency in General Surgery
- Drexel University, Master’s in Business Administration
- University of Pennsylvania (Bachelor’s)
Awards and publications
- Szalai LJ, Naik A, Foroohar A, Meyers WC, “Hepatic Surgery”, Management of Laparoscopic Surgical Complications, p285-98. Chapter 16 of 26, 2004
- Mora SA, Mandelbaum BR, Meyers WC, Szalai LJ, Potter ND, Naik A, Ryan J, “Extraarticular Sources of Hip Pain”, Operative Hip Arthroscopy, 2004
- Presentation: Technique for the Development of Magnetic Stents for use in Targeted Drug Delivery Systems Drexel University Discovery Day 2007
- Presentation: Post Mastectomy Radiation in Patients with 1-3 Positive Lymph Nodes American Society of Breast Surgeons Annual Conference Phoenix, AZ 2012
Albert Einstein Healthcare Network®
Starting with just 22 beds in 1866, this non-profit network comprises of several major hospitals, many outpatient centers and numerous primary care and specialty care locations throughout the Philadelphia region.
The Albert Einstein Healthcare Network facilities include:
Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa. —Largest independent academic medical center in the Philadelphia region. Offers advanced treatment in heart and vascular care, stroke, radiation oncology, breast health, and more.
Einstein Medical Center Elkins Park, Ekins Park, Pa. —Full-service medical and surgical specialty hospital in suburban Montgomery County. Offers orthopedics, bariatrics, urology and other services.
Einstein Medical Center Montgomery, East Norriton, Pa. —Offers advanced cardiac services, cancer care, orthopedic services, minimally invasive and robotic surgery and family-centered maternity care.
MossRehab —Locations throughout Philadelphia and Montgomery County. World-renowned for inpatient and outpatient rehabilitative programs for brain and spinal cord injury, stroke, neurological disorders, amputation and orthopedic conditions.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Dilon.