0

Breast cancer doctor inspired by his mom

Former air traffic controller, now specialist

Special Photo: Southern Crescent Breast Specialist Dr. Davis Timbert, 59, is pictured with his mother, Doris Galloway, 82. Galloway is a 15-year Breast Cancer survivor. Dr. Timbert is a breast cancer surgical specialist. He says his mother’s diagnosis is one of the reasons he decided to dedicate his practice to breast cancer.

Special Photo: Southern Crescent Breast Specialist Dr. Davis Timbert, 59, is pictured with his mother, Doris Galloway, 82. Galloway is a 15-year Breast Cancer survivor. Dr. Timbert is a breast cancer surgical specialist. He says his mother’s diagnosis is one of the reasons he decided to dedicate his practice to breast cancer.

At 82, Doris Galloway is a breast cancer survivor.

Her son, Davis Timbert, is a breast cancer surgical specialist at Southern Crescent Breast Specialists, located at 7823 Spivey Station Blvd., in Jonesboro.

Timbert’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997. “This was the reason I developed my further interest in breast cancer, and why I decided to be a dedicated breast cancer surgeon,” said Timbert.

Southern Crescent Breast Specialists uses digital diagnostic equipment and techniques, to decrease the time from detection, to diagnosis, of benign and malignant conditions. Techniques include: minimally invasive breast biopsies by ultra sound, or mammographic guidance; and sentinel node biopsy of limp nodes of the armpit and reduction of the risk of arm lymphedema (swelling of the arm).

Specialists also provide nipple-areoler-skin-sparing mastectomies in the appropriate patients, and surgical placement of advance breast radiation devices for patients eligible for this method of treatment.

“By having thorough evaluation prior to surgery, using these diagnostic tests, allows the patient to have the least amount of surgeries to remove the cancer, and decrease the risk of recurrent cancer,” said Timbert.

Timbert said he was one of two physicians who started the sentinel node biopsy technique on the south side of Atlanta in 2000. According to Timbert, the technique reduces the risk of arm lymphedema, from 25 percent, to 5 percent.

“I was also one of the innovators on the south side of Atlanta for breast conserving surgery, with partial breast radiation for patients ..., with negative nodes, and small tumors with negative margins,” Timbert added. “This eliminates the need for radiation to the entire breast, and significantly reduces the side effects of radiation to the breast.”

Timbert developed a team concept with a plastic surgeon, Dr. Allan Larson, that facilitated the nipple-areolar-sparing mastectomy with an improved cosmetic outcome.

The plastic surgeon performs a tissue-expander reconstruction at the time of the cancer surgery, explained Timbert. The cosmetic result is a cancer patient who has had a cancer surgery, but appears as though she has only had her breast augmented, said Timbert.

“It is so much better for the patient’s perception of her body image and her self-esteem,” said the surgeon. “Another thing we do, we send a portion of the tumor [to] genetic analysis to determine the risk of developing distance disease to the lungs, liver, bones and brain,” he added. “This provides a recurrent score that the medical oncologist uses to determine if intravenous chemotherapy is needed. This test confirms whether chemotherapy is truly needed.”

Southern Crescent Breast Specialists also hosts two breast-cancer support groups: Spivey Survivors, which consists of young survivors, under 40 years of age. The second group is called Harbor of the Hope Support Group, for those over 40.

Joining Timbert at the specialty center is his wife, Susan, who serves as his clinical manager. She is a registered nurse. “We see probably 250 breast cancer patients per year,” said Susan Timbert. “The majority of patients do really well, and have a very good outcome. It’s an inconvenience in their life, and they move on in their lives. It is rewarding to see survivors pay it forward by counseling newly diagnosed breast cancer patients.”

The majority of the group’s patients are referred by their primary care doctors, or gynecologists. Timbert said her husband is one of the select few surgical breast oncologists, pioneering innovations in breast cancer care.

“It is evident, when the American Society of Breast Surgeons meet annually, and there are only a couple of thousand of them in the entire United States,” she added.

Dr. Timbert was a 20-year-old air traffic controller in 1974, while studying business at Georgia State University. In 1982, he joined the Atlanta Fire Department and was assigned to the Atlanta International Airport, because of his previous aviation experience. He became interested in the Advanced Cardiac Life Support rescue unit, and began training as a paramedic. He was assigned to the rescue unit. His interest in medicine grew.

By 1987, at the age of 34, Timbert graduated with honors from Georgia State, and was accepted to the Emory University School of Medicine. He was accepted later into the Emory Surgical Residency program, and finished in 1996.

An additional year of specialized training earned him a fellowship in oncology/ plastic surgery. At the age of 45, he went into private practice, opening his own practice in July 2003.